“I knew as soon as I left HOBY that I wanted to come back and inspire others in the way that I was inspired. What started off as a mission to complete the required 100 service hours completely transformed my life into one dedicated to the service of others.”
I like to believe that I was always involved in a limited amount of service. I grew up active in Cub Scouts and my church, which just so happens to be two organizations that value service. However, I never really liked completing the service or had a reason to push myself to do more than the minimum until I attended HOBY. I knew as soon as I left the HOBY World Leadership Congress that I wanted to come back as a junior staff member and inspire others in the way that I was inspired. What started off as a mission to complete the required 100 service hours completely transformed my life into one dedicated to the service of others.
I was always considered a “leader” by others simply because I was smart and mature, but I never really thought of myself as a true leader. HOBY, however, taught me that there is more than one style of leadership, and that I should embrace my own style; my style just so happened to be one which HOBY encouraged, which was a form of active leadership, where the leader leads by setting an example while actually completing the tasks with everyone else.
The majority of my service came through my term as East Wake High School’s National Honor Society president. This included leading the 37 students in the club along their academic and service journey as well as conducting meetings between advisors and school administrators to clear service project ideas. Throughout the year, our 37 students completed over 925 total hours of community service as well as an additional 175 hours of tutoring for other students in the school. The most quantifiable group service project was the canned food drive that concluded the school year. We started out with a goal to raise one item for every student at the school, which would have amounted to around 1,350. However, we easily surpassed our goal as we raised over 1,500 items that were donated to a local food pantry to be distributed throughout the area.
Another large component of my service came from serving on the Junior Staff for the HOBY North Carolina East leadership seminar. In my opinion, this was the most rewarding of any of the service that I completed, even if it is only for 4 days out of the year. HOBY gave me more than I ever could ever express when I attended, so it is very important to me to give back my time to the organization. In the past two years, I have poured my heart into the seminar in hopes of inspiring the over 250 ambassadors that have attended. In the two years I volunteered, I completed 90 service hours myself and supervised the completion of over 750 hours by the ambassadors.
I demonstrated leadership in a couple of ways during the completion of the service hours, mostly because I was the president of the National Honor Society through which the service was completed. The first way that I demonstrated leadership was in the organization of the service project themselves. I was in charge of contacting members of the community about potential service opportunities as well as scheduling meetings between the club’s advisor and school administrators in accordance with the school’s community service project guidelines. I also designated tasks to individuals in the club in advance, as well as during the completion of the service projects; this included finding creative ways of filling voids left by students who were no-shows for certain events. Additionally, I demonstrated a style of leadership that I was introduced to through HOBY; leadership in action. I accomplished this by actively participating in all of the service events the club participated in, as to set an example for the other students.
What is L4S?
HOBY’s Leadership for Service Program (L4S), a national community service program, was created exclusively for HOBY alumni to:
- Raise the public’s awareness of young people as a resource for community problem-solving
- Prepare young people who have attended HOBY to take on meaningful roles in community improvement initiatives
- Develop and foster the capacity of individuals, organizations, and institutions to provide meaningful service and leadership opportunities for youth.
Through L4S, HOBY alumni are encouraged to continue logging all of their community service and volunteer experiences in the years following their participation in a Community Leadership Workshop (CLeW), a State Leadership Seminar, the World Leadership Congress (WLC), and other International HOBY programs.