Volunteering with HOBY – VPAD Kate McConnell

HOBY and PSP Logos

As we talk about service this month on the blog, we want to remind you about all of the volunteer opportunities that are available through our National Philanthropy HOBY! In June, three our New York Metro Area Alumni Chapter Members volunteered at HOBY NY Metro Seminar. We asked them to reflect on their experience for our blog. Today, we’ll be hearing from Vice President of Alumni Development Kate McConnell (Gamma Phi Chapter ’07, NYMAAC).

VPAD - Kate McConnell

What HOBY programs have you been a volunteer for and as what position?

This was my first ever HOBY, and I volunteered as a Facilitator for the NY Metro seminar.

Describe and reflect upon your HOBY Experience.

I didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect walking into the seminar – even with all the email correspondence, there’s really no way to prepare someone for an experience like this. I did have the benefit of having worked with High School students in the past, and a ton of excitement for a program that has made a difference in the lives of many of my friends and Brothers, and a whole lot of people I’ve never met. The result was a whirlwind three days during which I got the chance to see young men and women learn valuable leadership and teamwork skills. It felt like a crash course both for me and for the Ambassadors, and in both cases it was one that won’t soon be forgotten. I’m certain that each of those students are going to go on to make a powerful difference in their schools and/or communities, and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.

How did you get involved with HOBY New York Metro?

I’ve been hearing about HOBY for years from friends and Brothers who took part in it themselves (some of whom still donate a considerable amount of time every year as volunteers). When I found out it was being considered as our new philanthropy last summer, I was thrilled – even with no personal experience with it, I knew that it was an incredible program that aligned perfectly with the mission of Phi Sigma Pi. When the possibility of volunteering on site at a local seminar presented itself, I didn’t even need to think about it. I feel fortunate that the staff at the NY Metro Seminar were as into us as we were into them. They treated us with so much trust and respect, even though they knew so little about us, and were always right there to help if we ever felt lost or needed a hand. As a result I felt completely supported and confident in my ability to rock the facilitator position, which means I got to spend more time enjoying the ride than worrying about whether I was doing everything right. The volunteers at HOBY are all incredible, enthusiastic and – dare I say – outstanding people.

Kate with her HOBY Ambassadors

Kate with her HOBY Ambassadors

How do you think HOBY and Phi Sigma Pi are alike?

A better question might be how they’re not alike! I honestly think the biggest difference is the age group of the participants/members. Of course they’re both unique organizations, but our ideals line up so perfectly that it makes complete sense that we should build this kind of partnership.

Why are you excited for HOBY to be Phi Sigma Pi’s new National Philanthropy?

I can’t think of a better way to engage in leadership through service than by supporting the next generation of leaders. It has the potential to be the perfect leadership life cycle: HOBY participants are ideal future Brothers, and Brothers are the perfect HOBY volunteers. Our Members, one service event and/or leadership position at a time, are collectively changing the world. The same is true of the students that take part in HOBY. Just imagine what we can accomplish with our powers combined!*

(*I love a good Captain Planet reference…)

What is one thing about HOBY our Members should know?

If you volunteer for a seminar (and you definitely should!), make sure to take part in the training session, if one is offered. You’ll be glad to have that extra bit of context and preparation.

Interested in volunteering at a Seminar? Applications open for HOBY Seminars across the country are open NOW and you can volunteer for much more at hoby.org/volunteer.

Leadership in ActionLearn more about HOBY and how to get involved with the Leadership in Action Lunch & Learn Webinars. Watch them on the Phi Sigma Pi YouTube page.

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