In a spring day of 1992 a dynamic leader was born. The eldest of two sons, Robert Lamar Yarborough was raised in a single parent household and was held to a standard to the example. As a born leader Robert was groomed by his family. At the age of thirteen he joined a group called the Pathfinders; Pathfinders fall under the umbrella of the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA). This inspirational group operates similar to the Boys & Girls club. In this organization is where Robert’s rich leadership skills were developed. This led to the journey of Mr. Yarborough’s continued service in the church working with the local children’s church and holding a position as an esteemed deacon. From this moment on, he realized that he liked being a leader and all of its many responsibilities.
At the age of sixteen, Robert entered into a program for African American men to develop their leadership skills. He then proceeded in his ventures of Leadership by starting his own business, as well as a youth director. As youth director he was first in command over communication and technology under the leadership of Mary Yarborough. Robert pressed on to other areas in his community such as Hosea Williams Feed the hungry, back to school events hosted at Atlanta’s own Turner Field, and other random places in need of his assistance.
On March 28, 2010 on his eighteenth birthday Robert was diagnosed with AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). In December of the same year he was also diagnosed with Cancer. Despite these life changing events Robert prevailed. With much prayer and strong will he beat cancer and became HIV undetectable (controlled). Living with the virus Robert grew an urge to work hands on with HIV/AIDS. He started volunteering with different organizations such as Ponce Center (IDP), Camp High Five, Emory (Pipe Line), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. along with various organizations who work with infectious diseases. Outside of these organizations Robert served as the Program Coordinator for the Atlanta based LOVE Coalition (Lifting our Voices to Equality, Inc.), a certified tester with The Empowerment Resource Center.
After five years of living with the virus, Robert formed his own organization, HIV Positive Youth That Pledge to Empower Themselves and Others or (H.Y.P.E). H.Y.P.E was created from inspiration, love, and compassion. As the founder and Executive Director of this Non Profit, Robert was inspired to start his vibrant organization because he did not want anyone else to look at his or her diagnosis in a negative way. Instead, he wanted to give hope to the under-served.
Since then Mr. Yarborough has continued to serve his community. He currently is on the Speakers Bureau of Georgia Equality, Co –Chair of the consumer Advisory Board at IDP, a representative for the Ponce Center (IDP), and a volunteer staff as well as hold the position of Director of the Arts Program of the Love Coalition. Recently, Robert was invited to attend and chair the Community Advisory Board for Emory University and Grady’s IMPAACT Network location (The International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network). This is an international research network funded by Washington, D.C. based National Institute of Health. When Robert is not busy researching and offering input for clinical research, you can find him working hands on at H.Y.PE. to sharpen his business savy skills. Mr. Yarborough is currently enrolled in school for Office Business and Finance.
For more than five years, HYPE has made it its mission to equip youth and communities living with HIV with the capacities to be leaders in their communities and to promote the interests of their communities.