Region H Volunteer Spotlights

National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and is about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.  According to Points of Light, “National Volunteer Week is about taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change – discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to make a difference.”

Check out some of our OUTSTANDING Volunteers from Region H:

Allison Poss, Darin Shebesta, and Christina Onpeng

NAME: Allison Poss AllisonPoss.RegionH

AGE: 29


VOLUNTEER SITE(S) and/or PROGRAMS (WLC/ALA/CLeW): This year I am the secretary for the Iowa HOBY Corporate Board and also am the recruitment/registration chair for the Iowa HOBY planning team.  I am a section leader for WLC on the programming team.


Tell us who you are in “real life” (hobbies, personal/family life, work, other volunteer activities, etc.): I live in Iowa City with my husband Bennett and my Yorkie, Pax. I am licensed psychologist that recently founded an organizational development firm, Axle Rev that specializes in helping organizations build an environment that amplifies innovation. I also work part-time as a mobile crisis counselor to help individuals and families in crisis situations. I enjoy yoga, reading, throwing theme parties, blogging, binge watching Netflix (especially Gilmore Girls), and am a brunch advocate. In addition to HOBY, I volunteer as a chapter advisor for the Gamma Phi Beta sorority at the University of Iowa.

What should everyone know about HOBY? HOBY is one of the top leadership programs for high school students. Its programming is intentional, inspiring, and I have seen firsthand how it transforms students. It teaches students how to think, not what to think and does it well.

We don’t pay you, so why do you make the time to volunteer? HOBY brings together individuals who are motivated, interesting, kind, and want to make a difference. Those are the kind of people I want to be around. Volunteering for HOBY has also helped me build my skills in event planning, programming, and communication that helped me greatly as I have advanced in my career.

How has volunteering with HOBY influenced you? Volunteering for HOBY has influenced me by teaching me the value of service. Because of HOBY service is a huge part of my life. HOBY has always reinforced for me the value of being kind to others.

What is your favorite quote? “Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them.” – unknown

What is your favorite book and what favorite food would you be eating while reading? One of my favorite books is #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso. It is a story about female entrepreneurship and inspired me to start a group called Girl Bosses at local elementary school where I work with the girls on leadership skills and help them organize projects that improve their school and community. Whenever I read, I always drink black coffee.

Who inspires you? Lena Dunham is someone who inspires me because she is witty, honest, talks about things that other people are scared to discuss, and takes creative risks.

Best tips for new volunteers? Get to know the other volunteers. Through volunteering I have met some of my best friends and met individuals who have helped me get jobs or connected me to a new community when I have moved. I would say that it is also important to be committed and show up. It is easy to put volunteering on the back burner but to get the most out of the volunteering experience you need to make sure you are able to follow through on the tasks that you have volunteered to complete and do them well.


 NAME: Darin Shebesta

 AGE: 31

 STATE: Arizona

 VOLUNTEER SITE(S) and/or PROGRAMS (WLC/ALA/CLeW): Arizona Corporate Board President, Seminar and CLeW’s


 Tell us who you are in “real life” (hobbies, personal/family life, work, other volunteer activities, etc.): I enjoy tennis, golf, personal development and building relationships; what I do professionally is work with people to make better financial choices so they can fulfill on what’s important to them; I am the current President of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Phoenix

What should everyone know about HOBY? HOBY is the best kept secret in youth leadership development; it is a community of passionate people who want to give to the world

We don’t pay you, so why do you make the time to volunteer? I care about the future of our young people; I want them to have the tools to make anything possible.

How has volunteering with HOBY influenced you? It has allowed me to contribute to people all across the state and beyond; it has shown me how powerful these young people are and what they are up to in their lives.

What is your favorite quote? “Doing Good While Doing Well” by William Polk Carey

What is your favorite book and what favorite food would you be eating while reading?  Favorite Book: The 4 Hour Workweek; Favorite Food I would be Eating while Reading: Salt and Pepper Popcorn

Who inspires you?  Peter Diamandis, Tim Ferriss, Elon Musk

Best tips for new volunteers?  Ask questions, dive right in and contribute.

Christina.OnpengNAME: Christina Onpeng

AGE: 25

STATE: Colorado

VOLUNTEER SITE(S) and/or PROGRAMS (WLC/ALA/CLeW): Colorado Seminar


Tell us who you are in “real life” (hobbies, personal/family life, work, other volunteer activities, etc.): I am a health and fitness coach. My favorite outdoor activities include hiking and playing tennis. I love music and going to see my favorite band/artist live. I love traveling and exploring, I am usually on a trip every few months visiting friends and family. Life is an adventure for me and I love being able to do what I love and finding the time to pursue my dreams.  

What should everyone know about HOBY? HOBY is life changing! HOBY is hard for me to put into words because it’s so unique and unlike anything else.

We don’t pay you, so why do you make the time to volunteer? I couldn’t imagine life without volunteering. HOBY literally changed my life and I couldn’t start my summer without the Colorado seminar. All the hard work the program committee puts in year round and being able to see the ambassadors light up throughout the seminar weekend, that to me is worth every minute of volunteering. As director of junior staff, it’s so heartwarming seeing all the recent alumni who want to come back and reading their stories about why they love HOBY. We are life changers and I wouldn’t give that up at all.

How has volunteering with HOBY influenced you? HOBY has changed my life for the better. It’s given me a support system, it’s made me realize my greater passion of helping people and it’s made me realize I can do anything I put my heart into. As a volunteer, it has truly has helped shaped me into the woman I am today.

What is your favorite quote? “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” -Eleanor Roosevelt

What is your favorite book and what favorite food would you be eating while reading? Start by Jon Acuff and I would be eating frozen yogurt topped with strawberries, blueberries and mochi. 

Who inspires you? My grandma

Best tips for new volunteers? HOBY is a unique experience and if you have an open mind and an open heart, you’ll have the best time volunteering. It’s life changing if you let it be.


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