The following letter is from the parents of a HOBY alum to the parents of future HOBY ambassadors:
What an honor it is for us to be able to share with you our HOBY experience from a parent’s point of view. Our three oldest children (ages 23, 20, and 17 as of 2007) have had the wonderful opportunity of being chosen to attend the Southwest Ohio HOBY weekend as ambassadors and 2 have gone back as Junior Facilitators. In all cases, HOBY has made a significant, positive impact on our children’s lives and the lives of their friends and classmates.
In our home, we have always stressed a “servant” leadership attitude and have challenged our children to “make a difference” each day. We strongly believe that leading by example, through a strong “service to others” attitude, would be instrumental in shaping our children’s approach to life. Well, as you can well imagine, your children usually only “listen” to their parents up to a point. That point usually occurs around the time they start high school and they “realize” that they now know everything there is to know about life, and the parental input really isn’t needed any more (we assume you can relate to what we are trying to say J). Just when you think all is lost, a wonderful event occurs following your child’s sophomore year of high school. This event is called the HOBY Leadership Seminar. In all 3 of our children’s cases, we have found this to be a great time to strengthen and build upon the leadership foundation we tried to instill in each them. This is also the perfect time for your young HOBY Ambassador, together with their peers from around the area, to be exposed to life changing stories and experiences from the wonderful leaders and entrepreneurs that HOBY brings to the seminar.
Our family has always believed that in life, attitude makes all the difference and directly impacts how you approach and handle any situation. HOBY does a phenomenal job in emphasizing the importance and impact of a positive attitude in dealing with people and situations. You will notice this the moment you drop off your child that first day, when the HOBY greeters welcome he/she to the seminar. You will notice it even more when you attend the final banquet and pick up your HOBY Ambassador be prepared – it is very exciting!
HOBY is all about teaching your Ambassador the essential leadership and team skills required to be successful in life. They do this by helping your Ambassador to understand and develop their leadership potential. By using highly qualified speakers, seminars, group activities, and group discussion; HOBY emphasizes leading by example and placing others before self. HOBY further reinforces your child’s leadership development by asking their ambassadors to commit to volunteer service that benefits the community. Whether it’s serving the poor in your area or serving others in your neighborhood, church, or school, HOBY knows that actually “doing” strengthens a person’s leadership ability and makes the greatest and lasting impact on their Ambassadors and the people they encounter.
HOBY is a unique and wonderful leadership experience program. Its impact on your Ambassador really depends on them. As in most opportunities in life, you will get out of it what you put into it. It really is up to your Ambassador to “get” something out of the HOBY experience. All of our children “got” a ton from their HOBY experience. HOBY was instrumental in solidifying a strong “servant leadership” attitude in each of our children and has also blessed them with many lifelong friendships.
Wow, as you have read, we are very excited about HOBY and strongly endorse it. Why else would we encourage the first 3 of our 5 children to apply (our other two children are currently in grade school just waiting for their sophomore year 🙂 )? Before, we close this letter, you may be wondering what our 3 oldest children are doing now? Our oldest is now married and serving our country as an officer in the United States Air Force (USAF). Our second is currently getting her undergraduate degree and upon graduation, will also serve our country as an officer in the USAF. Our third is currently a junior in high school. We are excited about discovering the path he will serve upon graduation from high school and college.
We hope you “Go Bananas” about HOBY as we have!!!!
Mikel and Colleen Miller