“HOBY has redefined my entire philosophy around leadership as a discipline and provided me with a community of people who I recognize as family. I have taken classes and attended workshops on leadership before, but there is nothing like the curriculum that HOBY provides and the wonderful people that convey it so well!”
Donnie Lindsey has been a HOBY volunteer for the past four years at the Alabama State Leadership Seminar. This year he will be a facilitator at WLC as well. Throughout his time at HOBY he has encouraged numerous youth leaders that “their time is now.”
Throughout his volunteer experience with HOBY, Donnie has made some amazing memories and helped shape future leaders. He says that as a leader himself, he must make these opportunities happen for younger people, and help them grow as leaders themselves. He shares, “I agree with the quote that states, ‘It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’ I feel that it is my responsibility to cultivate and mold other young people in the world to be leaders.”
Some of his favorite memories as a volunteer include his interactions with the HOBY ambassadors in his group. One memory that really stuck out to him was a conversation he had with one of those ambassadors. She tended to be quiet and shied away from opportunities to take the lead. Thinking that she might want to go home, Donnie spoke with her to see if there was anything he could do to improve the experience for her. Instead, Donnie said that his life was forever changed.
Donnie remembers, “she spoke and told me, ‘You know Mr. Donnie some people just lead from the back and make sure that other people don’t get lost along the way.’ She made me realize that leadership is mobile. It’s not always just at the top or in the front. It can be anywhere!”
Donnie says that he found a sense of community among HOBY volunteers. While he may have realized this while driving home and the Cheers theme song came on, he knows that this community is something he values and that they value him in return.
“I value community very much. I realized that I had finally found a group of people in the staff and leadership team who were always glad that I was there. I had a place that I could rest and recharge. I had a place where the troubles of my own personal world were paused to have fun and impact lives in my own unique way.”
More than 450 students from 14 countries participate in WLC each year, including Argentina, Albania, Mexico, Turkey, China, Spain, Bolivia, Taiwan, Korea, and the United Kingdom. Students leave the WLC feeling empowered and equipped with the leadership skills they need to reach their goals and make meaningful contributions to society. As the global aspect on HOBY’s Pathway to Leadership, the WLC is a weeklong program designed to empower high school juniors and seniors to become mature, cognizant leaders and active global citizens. Click to learn more about how you apply to attend the WLC.