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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership of Colorado (HOBY Colorado)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Youth Development

Mission: To inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation.

Results: The first HOBY Colorado leadership seminar was held in 1978. HOBY Colorado celebrated our 40th Leadership Seminar in 2018! At our 2018 HOBY Colorado Leadership Seminar, we served 230 students - our largest cohort of ambassadors to date! Our 2019 goal is to expand access to the HOBY Colorado seminar through our recruitment efforts and fundraising for student scholarships. As a result of participating in the HOBY Leadership Seminar, students gain superior critical thinking skills, the ability to identify and tap into their personal leadership strengths, improved goal-setting skills, and a comprehension of, and a commitment to, leadership and service. Countless testimonials from students, parents and school staff have told us we are doing this successfully. HOBY Colorado alumni have logged thousands of service hours on HOBY’s website, confirming our alumni are returning from their HOBY Seminar empowered and enthusiastic about leading through service. In the last 10 years, HOBY Colorado Leadership Seminar participants have contributed more than 80,000 combined volunteer hours to their communities.

Target demographics: Outstanding high School sophomores from across the state of Colorado who have shown leadership potential in their schools and communities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 230 Student Ambassadors, representing every county in Colorado!

Geographic areas served: Colorado

Programs: HOBY Colorado unites high school sophomores from around the state and provides them with the opportunity to exchange ideas, engage in challenging discussions and reinforce their commitment to volunteerism and leadership. HOBY Colorado holds its annual leadership seminar on the University of Denver campus in Denver, CO. At the four-day seminar the students participate in panels, group discussions and breakout sessions, diversity and leadership development training and a Leadership For Service Project. At the end of the seminar, all participants are challenged to put their leadership skills into action by completing at least 100 hours of service in their communities.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The leadership summit held by HOBY Colorado is paramount to any nonprofit experience I've engaged in. As both a participating ambassador and a volunteer of the program, the past two years of my life have been thoroughly impacted by my experience. I hold great pride in being an alumnus of the conference and I intend to return as a volunteer again. Of HOBY I can only say this, it is the ideal transformative nonprofit, and the extent to which it shaped my character is indescribable.

Cathy P.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter has been actively involved in HOBY Colorado for 10 years. This organization has provided many opportunities for her to broaden her horizons and make countless friends for life. The HOBY experience has been a great adventure which took a once shy child and made her into a fearless woman. I will forever be grateful to HOBY for helping my child make this transformation.

Client Served

Rating: 5

HOBY has 100% shaped me into the leader and person I am today. In the span of a weekend I learned so many valuable lessons about teamwork and the importance of valuing myself and those around me. I L-O-V-E love HOBY so so much!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HOBY Colorado is so amazing! I went my sophomore year as an ambassador and absolutely fell in love with this organization. They spend time on all aspects of leadership and help you set goals for your future. They are super encouraging about getting involved in community service projects. Finding a passion for service changed my life and I'm so grateful. I can't imagine life without my HOBY family!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended HOBY in 2018 and loved every second of it. HOBY was such an influential time in my life, and taught me more than I thought could be learned in 4 days. Going in, I was a fairly shy student who, despite being confident, didn’t know how to put myself “out there” and get to know others. Within the first few hours of being at HOBY, I felt so incredibly comfortable and supported, which helped me crack my shell. My experience at HOBY left me with lifelong lessons, friends, passions, and memories, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have had the opportunity to attend this seminar. HOBY taught me the importance of leadership, community, service, understanding privilege, and so much more. This experience was truly life-changing, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Jake M.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HOBY Colorado helped shape who I am as an adult by teaching me the importance of critical thinking and how to lead with empathy in a tumultuous age. I've loved returning to volunteer here every year I can and always look forward to working with an excellent staff and talented sophomores

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got to attend HOBY in 2005, and have been back as a volunteer every since. It truly has changed my life and I wouldn't be the person I am if I didn't attend back in 2005. HOBY brought out a side of me that I did not think was possible. I was seen as a leader at my high school but I was shy and quiet, HOBY brought me out of that shell and now I get to give back to an organization that means a great deal to me. Being in a director role, I love seeing the faces of the ambassadors at the end of the seminar and how much they light up. Seeing alumni return year after year to volunteer is the most amazing thing too. It's a culture of leadership and family that is created at HOBY. I have made some of my best friends throughout the year and I am so thankful for an organization that has touched my life and continues to challenge me as a leader. I hope to continue to volunteer with HOBY for many years to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HOBY has been a life-changing experience that has helped me to become an advocate in my community. I am so lucky to have shared experiences and perspectives with the remarkable people that I met there.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HOBY has truly changed my life. I learned how to be a better leader and really find my true passions for volunteerism. I have made life long friends and HOBY will forever be something that defines me!

Eli G

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HOBY Colorado enabled me to reach for something greater and create a lasting impact in this world. Before I attended the seminar, I was a student that did not realize my leadership potential. After this incredible experience, I was bound and determined to live a life dedicated to making a difference. It has inspired me to be the best person that I can be in all capacities that I serve: a college student, volunteer, employee, family member, and friend. This unique organization empowers young adults to refine their leadership skills to better serve their community.

It has been an honor to serve 4 years (and counting) as a volunteer where I have had the opportunity to directly impact rising high school juniors. It is always energizing to see young minds share a passion to make a change. HOBY has shaped me who I am today and continues to shape young adults who will excel at creating the world a better place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HOBY has given me a new perspective on life and allowed me to really open up to people and share things about myself I never thought I would. HOBY is truly life changing and a great way to serve others and give back to such an incredible organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first attended HOBY as a sophomore myself and it was one of my most memorable experiences as a young adult. I still have a little bag of memorabilia from my weekend at Johnson and Wales with the HOBY crew. Years later I came back as a facilitator in 2015 and 2016. My group made some lasting memories as well, we shared some tears, shared some personal stories and conquered emotional hurdles together over the weekend at DU campus. My favorite part of HOBY is the community service day, I think this is such a important facet to open high schoolers up to, we can all make a difference after all! The kids in my group still say hi to me on social media from time to time and one even invited me to their graduation! I can not say enough good things about the HOBY community. It's a tough long weekend of intensive chats and panels but it is such a special thing that nobody would understand unless you go and experience it's magic!!
(I have LOTS of pictures if needed but I do not have them on my phone to upload here at the moment)

Board Member

Rating: 5

HOBY CO profoundly impacts the lives of 100s of high school juniors each year for decades. As a nonprofit, it is second to none when it comes to producing the problem solvers and leaders of tomorrow. As a former board member in 2018, I can happily salute the many volunteers who contribute to this excellent program. What's more, I have heard and experienced first hand the extremely positive feedback from participants/ambassadors and parents alike. This program changes lives for the better and shall become a cornerstone of the 21st century.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HOBY has been one of the most impactful organizations with which to volunteer. The 4 day leadership seminar is truly a transformational experience for both Ambassadors and volunteers! I look forward to volunteering with HOBY for years to come.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I know for a fact that HOBY has been one of the most formative organizations in my young career as a volunteer, and it continues to impact hundreds of high school sophomores (and volunteers) each year.

This will be my sixth year volunteering with HOBY Colorado and unlike most of our volunteers, I never had the opportunity to attend the 4-day summer seminar as a participant. Still, I believe so strongly in the impact that this organization has that I continue to come back, year after year, and dedicate countless hours to ensure that this seminar runs smoothly, and that a broad diversity is represented, both in our participants and in our volunteers. The fact that HOBY is an all-volunteer organization speaks volumes to the power of HOBY's impact in our community.

Donor

Rating: 5

In a league of it's own, this program has a profound and lasting impact on everyone who participates. From the students who enroll to the volunteers who selflessly donate their time, this nonprofit changes lives and builds relationships. As a donor, I've seen first hand the hard work the volunteers put into the seminar, ensuring each and every participant feels engaged and welcomed into the HOBY family. I have seen very few groups who care so deeply and deliver so consistently.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to attend HOBY Colorado as an ambassador my sophomore year of high school back in 2010. This four day seminar focused on leadership had a monumental impact on the way I perceived the world. Coming from a small town in Colorado, there can be a tendency for everyone to think alike, and HOBY introduced me to other people that had differing opinions and values that I did. What I really came away with was an exposure to a world outside of my small community, and it made me want to explore the world and meet the different people out there.

Currently, I just finished my sixth year volunteering with HOBY Colorado in different facilitator and corporate board goals. I love giving my time and effort back to an organization that really transformed me. Working with the students as a facilitator is one of the most rewarding experiences, as I want to help foster and create the transformational experience that I had. Helping support youth leadership is an important task for the next generation of Colorado!

Laurel S.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is an incredible program and I'm so proud to support them as a facilitator and board member.
Through this program, participants spend time learning about leadership, echo chambers, privilege, empathy, curiosity...they are going into the world with more skills around how to think, not what to think. But a former participant put it best:
"Just wanted to text you and say thank you. I helped organize and spoke at the March for our Lives in Crested Butte yesterday and I know for sure that without HOBY and everything I learned in those four days from you everyone in group R, I definitely wouldn’t haven’t been able to get up there and speak yesterday...I don’t think I realized the impact of discovering myself as a leader until way after HOBY but I’ve done some things this year that even I never saw coming. So thank you!"

Amanda Lea K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attribute a lot of where I am today to this nonprofit. I attended HOBY Colorado as a high school sophomore in 2011 and have continued to volunteer for the summer leadership seminar every year since. It was at this seminar that I was exposed to leadership, college, and scholarship opportunities. Without these opportunities I have no idea where I would be, but it absolutely would not be where I am now.

This organization and leadership seminar shows youth how they can be leaders, impact their communities, and make a difference in their own lives, the lives of those around them, and even in the world. I am so grateful for the impact HOBY had on my life and I continue to volunteer so that I can help make an impact in someone else's.

Board Member

Rating: 5

HOBY Colorado changes the lives of high school sophomores throughout the state every year, with focus on building knowledge of service and innovation into individual, group and community leadership. Our team puts on an incredible 4-day conference, with an average of 70 volunteers and 230 students in attendance. Without the remarkable fundraising efforts of our entire Corporate Board and Leadership Seminar Team, we would be unable to raise our operating budget of nearly $50k each and every year. Please consider learning more about the impact of this outstanding program, and specific contribution, on youth leaders across the state of Colorado.

Molly P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently in my 11th year of volunteering with HOBY Colorado and all I can say is WOW. HOBY Colorado is such a special organization. When I was 16, I started my adventure as a part of Junior Staff. Since then, I have been an Assistant Facilitator, Facilitator, Board Member at Large, Director of Fundraising, Board Treasurer, and am now the Leadership Seminar Chair!

HOBY helped to shape the person that I am today, and makes me a better leader with every passing year. There is no doubt in my mind that all I have achieved professionally can be attributed to the impact HOBY had on me 11 years ago.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended HOBY Colorado my sophomore year of high school as a student ambassador in 2010. 2019 will mark my 9th year of volunteering for this life-changing organization. My HOBY experience taught me how to harness my passion into action and instilled in me the value of community service. Growing up in rural southeastern Colorado, HOBY truly opened up the world to me. I now work at a major nonprofit community foundation in and have volunteered around the world! I volunteer every year to provide ambassadors from across the state of Colorado the same transformative experience I had as a HOBY ambassador. Supporting youth leadership in more important than ever and I am proud to serve the next generation of leaders in Colorado through the HOBY Colorado program.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This nonprofit does excellent work for youth in Colorado. It gives young people the tools to find spaces in their communities that they feel need change, and goes further to show them that they have the power to make that change. I know this first hand as an alumni of the seminar, and as a returning volunteer. For the last several years I have seen first hand the impact this nonprofit has on young people and how much of a change it can inspire.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with HOBY Colorado continues to be one of the most impactful of my adult life. As a facilitator of the four day leadership seminar, I had the pleasure of learning about leadership along side the state’s best and brightest young people. Because of programs like HOBY, I am hopeful about our nations future.