matthewmarkulis-400x300Name:  Matthew Markulis
Age:  28
State:  California HOBY Los Angeles
Years Volunteering with HOBY: 11

Tell us who you are in “real life” (what do you do/study/etc):

In “real life”, I am the Leadership Seminar Chair for HOBY LA :).  When I’m not doing the work of HOBY LA, I work for Apple Inc. in Orange County California.  I have the distinct privilege of working alongside some of the most dynamic and talented people that anyone could hope to work with.  It’s fitting that when I’m not at work with amazing co-workers that I’m volunteering alongside some of the most OUTSTANDING volunteers there are!!  My HOBY LA team is a constant source of inspiration and motivation for me!

What should everyone know about HOBY?:

HOBY gives young leaders the opportunity to make change happen now! It equips them with the tools they need to go out into the world and start making change!  Instilling in them that they don’t need to wait until they’ve finished school or started their careers, but that they can make change happen now!

We don’t pay you so why do you make the time to volunteer?:

There’s something in volunteering with HOBY that is more rewarding than receiving a paycheck…knowing that you’re helping provide the environment that will aide in giving these kids the knowledge of knowing like-minded amazing young people just like them, and that they have peers to share their amazing plans for the world with!

How has volunteering with HOBY influenced you?:

Volunteering with HOBY has influenced me by giving me the perspective that nothing is ever out of reach.  That if I’ve enough belief in myself and what I am doing, that anything is possible.  HOBY has blessed me with knowledge that I am one of many who feels that change happens by us taking action and that I am definitely not alone!

Very important… What is your favorite Book and what favorite food would you be eating while eating it?:

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, and I’d be sitting in the cafe that sits at the foot of the Acropolis eating Saganaki and drinking a cup of Greek Coffee. :).

Who inspires you?:

This is a loaded question…Who inspires me can be as broad as the glorious thinkers of old, Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Marcus Aurelius, and Shakespeare to the more recent influences of Robert Frost, Bertrand Russell, Steve Jobs, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Jonathan Larson, and Oscar Wilde.  The aforementioned is a microcosm of such phenomenal people who’ve evoked me to think broader thoughts…On a more tangible note…I am inspired on the daily by the amazing people who I have the privilege of working alongside for the goal that is HOBY Los Angeles.  My Director’s who manage to put in such ardent effort into every task they do, never mind that this is on top of their day to day paying jobs that they must toil for, but that they still find the time to execute flawlessly the tasks that they are charged with for our seminar.  My Junior Staffers, these are individuals who could easily be consumed with themselves, with where they are in the zeitgeist, high school and college and focusing only on the needs of themselves, instead, these incredible individuals are making time to give back, and do work, so that they can ensure a truly special experience for incoming HOBY Ambassadors.  Lastly and certainly not least, I am inspired by our Ambassadors.  They come into the program knowing now what they will leave with, knowing not what to expect, with opens minds, they come in and they allow themselves to break barriers they didn’t even know existed opening up a limitless arena of OUTSTANDING goals they can achieve!!  This is what keeps me doing what I’m doing, this is what inspires me, that I am surrounded by the best of the best. Period.  With hearts that know no limits and minds whose creativity know no bounds!

 Best tips for new volunteers?:

Go into your first HOBY Experience with an open mind and the only expectation being that you’ll leave changed!  HOBY brings out the best in people, and HOBY Volunteers bring out the best of what HOBY has to offer!  Once you acclimate yourself to the cheering and nonstop high energy, that will all render itself a low hum to the bigger message resonating throughout our Seminars, that you’re OUTSTANDING and that YOU have the power to make change happen!  To give where there is nothing, to be a voice where there is silence, to be OUTSTANDINGLY you, a leader through service


HOBY wouldn’t exist without our volunteers. That is fact.

Last Year, nearly 4,000 volunteers helped HOBY to change the lives of 10,000 students across the nation and the world.  There are stories behind these individual volunteers who give their time, talents and effort to make a difference in the lives of our young people and to keep HOBY going year after year.

So with that, we present the HOBY Blog Volunteer Spotlight.   Each month we’d like to shine the proverbial light in thanks to one  (or 2) volunteers while sharing a bit of their story and why they do what they do. We hope that doing so inspires those of you who have yet to take a volunteer plunge (with HOBY, or any organization that you love) and realize that even though we are all busy, if the mission is strong, we can squeeze out some time to help if it means we are making a difference.

Want to be in the spotlight?  Email boutiettec@hoby.org.