When Bobby Horne attended his first AARP Chapter meeting in 1998, he could not have imagined the journey he was embarking on. Today, after over twenty years of volunteering at the chapter, region, and state levels, Horne continues to work on the AARP Virginia Executive Council and as a Community Ambassador.
With 33 years of teaching within Newport News Public Schools under his belt, the retired educator from York County began his efforts first by attending his local AARP Chapter meetings and learning about how he could help the 50+ community through volunteering.
“When I started participating within the chapter, I realized the full scope of the work AARP was doing,” Horne said, “That’s when I got involved in the outreach portion of AARP and what got me started with what I’m doing now.”
As a Community Ambassador representing the Williamsburg and Newport News areas, Horne coordinates and speaks at events such as health fairs and conferences about issues affecting the 50+ community across the region.
By engaging with the public regularly, Horne is able to experience first-hand the positive impacts he has been able to make in his community and across Virginia. It is through these interactions that he feels most fulfilled and has driven him to keep serving.
“It’s rewarding for me to be able to work with other people throughout the state,” Horne said, “I learn new things from other people I work with and develop new skills just by being a volunteer.”
Today, Horne is excited about upcoming events in his community he is helping to organize through AARP, which includes an annual job fair for those age 50 and up.
“The 50+ community is dedicated and probably the best group of people for jobs,” Horne said, “On September 12, we’ll be bringing in employers and helping people find jobs, as well as giving them tips on how to put themselves out there.”
Additionally, Horne has served as a member of the Hampton Roads Coalition of Agencies and the Peninsula Agency on Aging. In 2017, he received AARP Virginia’s Gorton Morton Award for Volunteer Service for contributions that included developing ways to use the AARP Livability Index and his work towards creating an age-friendly community within the Williamsburg area.
When he’s not volunteering, Horne spends his free time practicing his love for photography, a hobby he has had since a child. He is an avid traveler who has visited over half of the National Parks in the United States. Next Spring, he plans to visit Mount Rainier and Mount Olympus National Parks in Washington, as well as Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.
Horne has a led his life dedicated to helping others; from teaching math and computer science in the classrooms of Newport News- all the way to advocating and serving on behalf of the 50+ community in the Southeast region. At age 77, Horne says there is still much for him to do.
“When I retired I was told that I would get bored,” Horne said, “But since I’ve been volunteering with AARP there’s always something to do, people to meet, and after 20 years I haven’t gotten bored yet.”
Are you interested in joining AARP Virginia’s Volunteer Team? Complete an online Interest Form, and we’ll be in touch.