Bobby Caples: Reimagining Service

Being involved in education is about being a part of social justice, and being a part of social justice is, at its most humble root, a matter of service. Bobby Caples is an Education Consultant, but first and foremost a servant. This blog is about spreading ideas related to serving others – getting to the root of why we do what we do.

When most folks think of Catholic schools they think of strict discipline and nuns. Profile 4While Bobby Caples and his peers had a few nuns walking the halls from time to time, most of his Catholic school experience was anything but what someone might expect.

Bobby Caples has been involved in “social justice” in some capacity for years, and Catholic schools were really the roots of this experience. A variety of values were instilled in him through the process, but one that has always stuck in the forefront of Mr. Caples’ mind: “It doesn’t matter how smart you are or good at something you are if you don’t use it for the betterment of the world.” It was such a huge contrast. When Mr. Caples eventually left that bubble and found out that self-glorification and greed weren’t just around, but they were overt values of quite a few folks.

Catholic schools also helped Bobby Caples develop one of the most fundamental ingredients in a passion for social justice – an understanding of it. We all have opinions on various social issues from genocide and illegal immigration to abortion and universal healthcare, but few of us understand any of those issues enough to actually have a meaningful opinion. Mr. Caples still doesn’t know much about many of those issues, but the process of actually studying – not just talking about – those issues set a standard for how he approached the world, eventually leading Bobby Caples to not just get involved, for example, in after-school programs – but to study them.

“I’ll never forget one evening – either on Christmas or close to it – when our family stopped to get gas when I was a kid. We all expect for gas stations to be open, but for some reason (a reason I believe I would later learn more about) my dad thought more about it than most of us do. He worked for a restaurant in Ohio that also happened to be open, and decided to go get food from the restaurant and bring it to the folks working at the gas station.”


Bobby Caples father was never formally involved with social justice as an occupation – you might say he just made a hobby of it. His mom, though, had been involved professionally as a social worker since the time Bobby Caples was born. She worked (and still works) for an agency that defends kids in court when their families can’t. Of course, it never made much sense for Bobby Caples to be directly involved at her job as a kid, but he would hear stories, go along (and sit in the car) for the occasional visit, and otherwise just be living in a household ran by someone who helped people for a living.

One of Bobby Caples worldviews that he is most grateful for as an adult that directly started from his mom and dad, isn’t the value of helping others, but the obviousness of that approach to the world. Of course you’d help someone by bringing them dinner, or standing up for them if they can’t stand up for themselves.

As Bobby Caples grew up, he’s made a lot of intentional decisions about his life – going to grad school, starting an organization, moving to various cities. All of those intentional decisions, though, are rooted in ways he was taught to think, and that he doesn’t even think about anymore. Some of the most meaningful moments in his life come from moments of selflessness, and those early experiences were no doubt the starting point for that journey.

Today, Bobby Caples continues this journey through helping youth-serving organizations build their capacity to serve children with social/emotional, behavioral, and academic difficulties. Bobby is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, and draws from this background and training when working with organizations. Contact Bobby for more information about training and consultation opportunities.