Growing up in a predominately white school in Traverse City, Michigan, college student Bryan Kabot was immediately drawn to the notable diversity at the University of Michigan, and he desired to cultivate it even further.
“I was interested in law because it was about justice and equality. And when I heard about this committee dealing with diversity, I jumped in it. There was a group of about four or five, led by faculty. I liked the concept of having people of different backgrounds sharing life together.”
Although initially excited by the work, Kabot grew disillusioned at its lack of efficacy. “The diversification committee never took off,” he shared. “It wasn’t organic. We didn’t really do much.”
Kabot, now married to EC alumna Heidi, is a proud EC dad of three students and one of the newest members of the board. A lot has changed since his college years. For one, his career focus shifted from law to finance. And although he is still passionate about diversity work, it has taken on new meaning with a faith in Jesus Christ.
In his early career, Kabot was invited to Renaissance Church in Summit, NJ. He says he was challenged by a pastor to “look into the Bible in a deeper way,” and inspired by a group of young people who “were sincere in their faith development and what they were studying.” The combination of these two factors led Kabot to seek more. He began to serve in Young Life, and at the age of 30, he “recommitted his life to the Lord.”
Kabot’s love for the Lord is evident in what he cares about when it comes to Eastern Christian School.
As a father, he says he appreciates that EC centers its curriculum and decision making on principles found in God’s word. “We really enjoy how the Bible is at the top of the school and we see that trickle right down into the classrooms and teachers. It means a lot to me, for example, when I drop my students off in the morning and I see the smiling faces of the staff. There’s such a sense of joy in the job.”
Last year, he joined the board because “it is so important for our children to be instilled with the right principles, morals and beliefs. I want to see that for all our children.”
He sees his role as supporting the work of the leaders of the school and is impressed by the commitment of board members. “There’s a lot of prayer and thought that goes into decisions at the board level. There is a lot of time discussing whether or not our decisions are in alignment with what our beliefs are as Christians and making sure that trickles down to the students.”
Still interested in diversity, Kabot is excited for the growing enrollment on all campuses and for the combination of the enthusiasm of new families and the generational faith of families who have been with the school for a long time. He says diversity work in a Christian context is different. “When we believe in the Bible and our calling to love one another, diversity happens organically. We aren’t pushing an agenda or filling quotas. When I look at EC, we have a tremendous amount of diversification at our school, and it is coming from people wanting Christ to be at the center of their life and seeking Christian education for their children. It is a very different process to me.”
He adds, “I’m most excited that our enrollment continues to go up, which is a clear sign that people are affirming what’s going on in the school.”