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The Antelope

Stoner is making HOBY a hobby

North Platte sophomore inspired by experiences as leader, member of HOBY International

Abbie Rohr
Antelope Staff

Involvement in a youth leadership organization has taken Kalynn Stoner around the world. She has participated and volunteered her time for Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) not only in Nebraska, but also in Lancaster, England.
This summer, Stoner plans to volunteer with the State Leadership Seminars in Maryland, Nebraska, Iowa and Washington. She also hopes to return to HOBY UK and attend other international seminars. A few she particularly wants to attend are HOBY seminars in Iraq, Togo and China.

Kalynn Stoner
Kalynn Stoner

“It would also be amazing to work for HOBY International as a member of staff, but we will see where the wind blows,” she said. Stoner said HOBY is an organization dedicated to the development of youth leadership across the globe.
“These programs, and the volunteers involved, have taught me new leadership skills, how to be a better person, and have put me on the path to self-love and acceptance. With the goal of going into government and politics, these are the traits I wish to embody as I develop my career. The reason I continue to volunteer with HOBY is because of the people and experiences given to me because of this program,” Stoner said.

Stoner, a sophomore from North Platte and double major in political science and history, has been a member of HOBY since she was a sophomore in high school.

“HOBY is different from other leadership organizations because of the atmosphere created. HOBY creates a place of love and acceptance in which it is OK to be who you are. No one is going to judge or treat you differently. HOBY allows people to become who they want to be, and empowers them to become the leaders of today,” Stoner said.

HOBY has three programs available for students: the State Leadership Seminar, the World Leadership Congress and the Advanced Leadership Academy. During these seminars, students discuss topics like “how to think, rather than what to think” and participate in small group activities to better bond with other students.

Stoner found out about HOBY her freshman year of high school when a friend on her cross-country team was wearing a shirt promoting the organization. She decided to apply her sophomore year. After she applied, she had interviews before becoming involved.

“Ever since attending my sophomore year in 2013, I have stayed involved and cannot imagine my life without it,” Stoner said.

Stoner stays involved in HOBY by volunteering her time and going to seminars. So far she has returned to the Nebraska seminar for three years as a junior facilitator. As a junior facilitator, Stoner says she helps to lead cheers, guides fun activities within the groups and maintains the upbeat energy of the seminar.

She also volunteers frequently with the Advanced Leadership Academy as an assistant project coach. During these seminars, Stoner “guides a group of managers through the program and helps students with projects in areas related to my experience,” she said.

Courtesy Three American HOBY members attended HOBY UK 2015 located in Lancaster, England. Kalynn Stoner, center, Seth Mavigliano, freshman, left, also attends UNK and was able to attend this seminar as well.
Three American HOBY members attended HOBY UK 2015 located in Lancaster, England. Kalynn Stoner, center, Seth Mavigliano, freshman, left, also attends UNK and was able to attend this seminar as well.

Stoner is currently the president of the Alumni Board where she plans reunions and helps to coordinate alumni relations.
“HOBY has been one of the greatest things to come into my life, and has had such a huge impact on me,” Stoner said. She feels that one of the most important aspects of HOBY is the relationships that students make with each other. The people and volunteers I have met at this seminar have become some of my closest friends, and many of them I hope will be in my life for a very long time. I am the person I am today because of these extraordinary individuals,” she said.

According to the HOBY website, HOBY conducts seminars in every state and in more than 20 countries and 10,000 students attend HOBY Leadership Seminars every year. To learn more about the organization visit

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