By Abe Vasquez
Jeff Cabot was born in a small town in Ohio. When he began college at Ohio State, he started to major in engineering, but soon realized that career was not right for him and he dropped out of college. Eventually, he went back to college, earned a degree in law and then began his career in different government systems all around Columbus including work on the Columbus School Board. He later retired from his job and now he does volunteer work with many different groups of people. His work helps the Columbus community by helping people meet others who are different than them.
Jeff says “the main problem between cultures in Columbus is that people aren’t communicating with other people.” They are not comfortable with others outside of their friend zone or people who are not like them. When I was interviewing Jeff he said that, “Columbus is generally a open town and a welcoming town and everybody needs to work to get along.” He stated “that some people don’t feel welcome here.” A solution that Jeff has to fix this problem is just to put yourself out there. Try to meet new people. Especially people that are different than you.
When Jeff was running for the school board, his mission was to help families in Columbus City Schools that were living in poverty. He was interviewed by the Columbus Dispatch in 2007 and stated that he was running for Columbus Board of Education because, “We must find ways to augment the supports that upper-and middle-class families take for granted, but that are missing in too many of our student’s lives.” Jeff was working to bridge the gaps between people living in poverty and others in the middle or upper class. Since Jeff does volunteer work, he works with many different people. Part of Jeff’s work helps kids get out to vote. If we can start young by having our voices heard, then we can make changes in our Columbus community! He also helps adults and kids that are not like him. We can solve this problem culturally by having an open mind and branching out. Just be kind. Let other people into your friendship circle.
One way as a seventh grader that I think I can help this project is by encouraging kindness all around the school and my community of Columbus. I will start to branch out to talk to people that look different than me and people with different ideas. I will begin to try things that I’d never think of trying before. In general, I will go out and make new friends so I can have courageous conversations across cultures around my community.
In conclusion, many people are separated by different features, backgrounds or what they like. Columbus should be an open and welcoming place for everyone. Everyone deserves to be met. Be thoughtful and open up to different cultures because you will never know what will happen until you step outside of your comfort zone.