BCSC Senior Project

[Humans of Columbus] Elisabeth Jones

The Humans of Columbus blog posts are a collaboration with the Council for Youth Department for Maya Federle's senior project. The goal for these stories is to open the eyes of those who read them to the incredibly diverse patchwork of stories that makes up the community of Columbus.

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Elisabeth Jones - Turning Point Domestic Violence Services

“Obviously we don’t have the history for her medically. We don’t have any of that information. We don’t know anything other than she was abandoned on a doorstep. The process for international adoption would be the bravest thing I’ve ever done. It was finding out all of the paperwork that was involved, the fingerprinting, the home study, and everything and the process of years that that it took for us to come to parenthood. It was just really interesting all of the red tape that you have to go through. I think Maia is getting old enough and getting to the point where she’s questioning kind of who her people are biologically. So we’ve done the Ancestry.com and the 23 And Me for her. Obviously we could never lie to Maia that she was our bio child. You can tell that she’s from China. So I think just being interested and supporting her culturally and trying to eventually find more out about her and her cultural past and her perhaps biological kin too is always something that we’re open to as well. Your family’s not necessarily just biological. It’s however you make it.” (13 years in Columbus)

Written by: Maya Federle, BCSC senior project
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[Humans of Columbus] Whitney Amuchastegui

The Humans of Columbus blog posts are a collaboration with the Council for Youth Department for Maya Federle's senior project. The goal for these stories is to open the eyes of those who read them to the incredibly diverse patchwork of stories that makes up the community of Columbus.

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Whitney Amuchastegui - Su Casa

“When I was 25 I went to a birthday party of a person that I didn’t even know; I knew his friend. I was living in New York at the time, and I didn’t expect anything of that event, but I actually ended up meeting my husband there. My husband is from Argentina, I’m from Canada, and he was just finishing his MBA. That started a long distance relationship, which I didn’t know at the time would end up being the relationship of my life. But it brought me to move to Argentina.  I don’t think I treated it with the correct amount of reverence that I should have when I did it. I felt like it was just this adventure that I was excited about. I think my naivety probably worked in my favor. But my stubbornness and my determination to succeed won out in the long run. There are lots of times when you move to a new place that you just feel like “I can’t. I want to go home.” It takes a lot to let it all go, even for the most prepared person. I mean sure I was in love and it was great, but the practicality of it, learning to work in another culture, and the nuances of a language. I didn’t know the language when I moved there. Before, I thought of language as more of an equation. But really it’s something that’s constantly evolving. At one point I remember, I reached a point in my learning where I knew what I was saying was correct. I knew it. But I could not seem to communicate myself to this person that I was interacting with. One day I said exactly what I needed to say in exactly the right way and ended it with “Ta“ which there is sort of a very colloquial way of saying “Got it?” and being more confident. So between the use of that colloquialism and the feeling that you are confident, suddenly, for that person, it was like the light went on. Like, “Okay, I got it”. I could tell that I had communicated myself. And understanding that piece of language, that it’s not necessarily an equation, it’s a combination of what you say, the words you use, the tone you use, the confidence you say it with- that sets the stage for your success as a person.” (4.5 years in Columbus)

Written by: Maya Federle, BCSC senior project
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[Humans of Columbus] Beth Strohl

The Humans of Columbus blog posts are a collaboration with the Council for Youth Department for Maya Federle's senior project. The goal for these stories is to open the eyes of those who read them to the incredibly diverse patchwork of stories that makes up the community of Columbus.

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[Humans of Columbus] Beth Strohl - Viewpoint Books

“I’ve never been unwilling to change careers. I started as a teacher and loved teaching. I’ve loved all of the things I’ve done. I have taken a very untraditional path but I was also not one of those people who said “I want to own a bookstore before I die.” I’d never owned a small business. And the business of owning a small bookstore is much more complex than I think most people would imagine. It has been a huge learning curve. But I tell people all the time I go home happily exhausted every evening. Physically because we move a lot of boxes of books, and mentally because I challenge myself to learn something new every day. We bought this store three years ago. I’m starting to feel like I know more than I don’t know but everything changes everyday. There are over a million new books written and published in the United States alone every year. If we don’t have the right books for customers and visitors we’ve lost an opportunity. There’s some research about the need for people to have a third place besides work and home. We were approached and asked if it was possible for Nomad, another senior project group, to meet here; we have a beautiful old brick-walled basement with these pillars that hold up the rest of this building and I said, “It’s perfect.” That’s exactly what we’d hoped for, and since then, we’ve had a wedding in the basement, we’ve had showers, birthday parties, community events. They’ve chosen to use what we call  the “Bookseller.” I would like to think that Viewpoint can be a third place for many people.” (37 years in Columbus)

Written by: Maya Federle, BCSC senior project
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