#WAHINEWEDNESDAY: Chantelle Cobby
Creating Positive Change in the Community
Chantelle Cobby is a young woman of many talents! From starting up micro-volunteering at the University of Waikato to recently graduating with a Bachelor of Communication Studies, majoring in Leadership Communication, Chantelle is always putting her best foot forward – especially when it comes to making a difference in the wider community.
Taking some time aside from focusing on her next degree, a Bachelor of Leadership for Change through Otago Polytechnic, tutoring papers at the University of Waikato and undertaking her position as Head of Research and Community for Seed Waikato, Chantelle happily answered some questions for us:
Tell us about yourself… who is Chantelle Cobby?
I’m 21 years old, and currently live in Hamilton (although I’ve spent lockdown hanging out in Rotorua with my parents and cat, Parys). I recently finished my Communication Studies degree at Waikato University, and I am part-way through a Bachelor of Leadership for Change degree at Otago Polytech. Although most of my time goes towards my studies, I also love immersing myself in different volunteer projects, rock’n’roll dancing and venturing around Hamilton and beyond.
But overall, I’m really passionate about social change and community development, and absolutely love using my interests, strengths and voice to enable and empower others to flourish, and fulfil their potential.
Where is home for you?
I grew up in Rotorua, and that will always be my first home! But, I was born in Hamilton, and have been living here for four years, since returning for university studies - so that’s my second home.
What are your goals and/or passions in life?
I’m really passionate about creating positive change in my communities, and I just love diving into any projects with an admirable cause and purpose, that enable and empower others - so continuing to be fully involved in activities and initiatives that fuel that passion, and align with that, is definitely a goal of mine.
Running Waikato Microvolunteering Collective at Waikato University has been an incredible experience - and I have lots of goals with that. These goals include running more community-based events that enable more people to experience the benefits of microvolunteering, for both themselves and others, and allow us to collectively create a bigger positive impact. I'd love to see if we can expand beyond Hamilton too.
I’ve also been running weekly inspirational virtual events throughout lockdown, as part of a wee project called the Soul Lounge. I designed this to create a platform for inspirational New Zealanders to share their stories, and for people to rally around that, and nurture their wellbeing in doing so, especially during a challenging time. It’s been a ton of fun putting that together, so I definitely endeavour to keep that going, and see what else we can do to help people nourish their souls.
But, in the future, I hope to put all those interests to use and run my own social enterprise, or something along that line!
How have your studies contributed towards fulfilling these goals and/or passions?
In almost every way! I find that communication underpins, and is the foundation, of absolutely everything - so my Communications degree has helped me find ways to harness and utilise communication, to maximise its potential, and my impact. I minored in Strategic Management too - that helped me apply blue-sky thinking and be visionary and innovative - something I can apply in everything I do.
Waikato University is a real little community, with such a great on-campus atmosphere - and that has been the perfect environment for me to really ignite and explore some of my passions - like starting Waikato Microvolunteering Collective.
Plus, through my studies, I’ve met some incredible people who have been massive sources of inspiration and support, and have inspired me to be my best self, in pursuing my goals and passions.
Alongside your incredibly busy lifestyle, do you have any hobbies that you partake in?
I’ve been enjoying trying out different crafty hobbies lately - scrapbooking, embroidery, and painting. I also absolutely love rock’n’roll dancing, and try to do that every chance I get! Exploring Hamilton, and going on road trips and adventures all around our beautiful country is definitely another hobby, and of course, I love to relax with a good Netflix show or movie!