Last week I celebrated my 22nd birthday and I was overwhelmed with gratitude to celebrate another year of my life in Columbus. The more I experience this city, the more I love it. In my humble opinion, there is no better place to be 22 than in Columbus, Ohio. Last weekend I enjoyed the Columbus Arts Festival with my coworkers, hit Easton with some friends, and took a stroll through the Short North on Sunday afternoon. My weekend exuded Columbus.
It’s good to be in Columbus at any age, not only because of all the city offers to its people, but because of all that its people can offer the city. There are ample opportunities to help others. Even during my short time at Per Scholas, I’ve seen need in our community. There are 145,000 Central Ohioans without a high school diploma (New Skills at Work). About 13% of people living in Columbus lack basic reading, writing, and mathematic skills (Columbus Literacy Council). 42,100 people in the area are out of work and looking for a job (New Skills at Work). There is plenty of work to be done in our fair city, and through this fellowship I think I’ve met just the people for the job. The folks I have the privilege of serving with this summer are the cream of the crop and they are going to change the world. In fact, they already are. Last week I shared lunch with a few fellows and I got to hear how their passion for service has completely changed the trajectory of their lives. To my fellow fellows and anyone else reading this, I would say this: don’t let your hearts be hardened by experience or your actions be dulled by cynicism. In the words of anthropologist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” We love this city. Let us never tire of trying to make it better.