Hi! I’m Arden, the current President of the HOBY Canada Board of Directors.
My leadership has been involved during my time with the organization. My leadership style is very transformational; I focus on change and transformation, looking ahead to where the team wants to be and providing guidance to get us there.
I’m from Petrolia, ON (a town outside of Sarnia), and many things remind me of home. Petrolia is the real version of any Hallmark town you’ve seen in a Christmas movie. It has the small-town energy you read about in books or watches on tv. So, I often think of home if that plot line comes up. One of my favourite memories of home is our local fair, so anytime I see a parking lot fair, I feel a bit nostalgic.
One of the first times I volunteered was with Girl Guides! I remember being in middle school, and we would do park cleanups or go visit senior living centres. Looking back on it now, I probably had no idea I was giving back to the community. I probably thought we were going on a field trip.
Everyone can be a leader. Each of us has our circle of influence where we can be leaders for those around us. Often, we see leadership as this vast, overbearing title that can feel out of reach. When we all take on leadership roles every day, I think that’s what is so beautiful about the HOBY program; we help teach young people that we all can be leaders in our own right.
An unorthodox leadership experience for me has to be when I’ve done escape rooms with my family. I often take the role of a traditional leader by organizing the team members to maximize our time. I would call it leadership; my partner might call it bossing around!
My favourite HOBY memory was attending the Lambton CLeW in 2012. I remember hearing a HOBY Alum sharing the service project they created to help raise money for Sick Kids and being amazed at the difference someone my age could make. Another favourite moment for me was working on the first virtual 3-day for HOBY Western Ontario. It was a true example of what can be created when passionate people unite.
I volunteer with HOBY because I believe in leadership through service and educating more people about the power of giving back. There are many leadership organizations in Canada that high school students can experience. However, HOBY is focused on helping you not just become a leader but help you develop the skills to service the communities you’re a part of. HOBY is about looking at the world around you and finding places to give back. Seeing our alum create their non-profits, service projects, and volunteer outreach programs shows the value of our program. I feel so lucky to be a HOBY volunteer and experience what our alum can do after going through our programs.
I see the future of HOBY looking like more programs across Canada! I’m a huge advocate for expansion and hope to bring our programs to more high school students nationwide. CLeWs, 3-Day Seminars, Alumni Reunions; I want to see HOBY in every Province one day.