Silicon Slopes Conversation with Utah First Lady Abby Cox

When Utah First Lady Abby Cox says hello, you can tell she’s just one of those people. She lights up when she speaks, she’s clever, smart, passionate, and her enthusiasm is contagious. Abby joined us for Silicon Slopes Conversations on Friday October 28th, 2022. She gave us insight into her Show Up initiative, told us a little bit about her family, and even shared her pre-bedtime chats with the Governor.

From the beginning, the Cox’s have been focused on serving the Utah community. Whether it’s through their service-focused political campaign or Abby’s four-pillared Show Up initiative, the couple and their team are laser focused on something Utah excels at–serving others.

Abby talked with us about the four key components of Show Up, which include:

  • Educator Wellness,
  • Foster Care,
  • Unified Sports, and
  • Service

Starting with Educator Wellness, Abby explained that when she and her team asked educators what they needed, it was the desire for skill development. When teachers are empowered with what they need to do to help students, the students feel empowered as well. Silicon Slopes CEO Clint Betts asked, “Why don’t teachers make money?” Abby shared that there is “good news in the works” for teachers, and although she couldn’t share details, she promised that was forthcoming.

We moved on to Foster Care, and Abby shared with us how difficult it is for children as well as host families within the foster system. She told us of a friend she knew whose children were grown and gone and the friend and her husband decided to foster. They ended up with a family of five siblings, and she shared with Abby some of the highs and lows of the experience. Abby resolved that she could do more to help foster families, and so the focus of the “Foster” component of Show Up is informing people of direct ways they can help those families, whatever their circumstance. She shared that while you might not be in a place where you can open your home, there are other things you can do. Take a pizza to a foster host family, mentor a foster child, and consider gathering a “care community” where 10 or so families work to support and take some of the weight off a particular host family.

Next was Unified Sports. Abby shared how a handful of schools in Utah have been pairing students with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team and how it’s changing the way students interact with each other. Abby spoke with someone from a school who participated in the program and they told her how it changed the entire culture of the school. Kids say, “I’ve had this experience, now how do I think about somebody that is from a different country, from a different race, that has a different religious background than I do?” The kids learn that full inclusion means that they can connect with everybody, no matter how different they are.

Finally Abby talked about the Service aspect of Show Up. There are so many ways to serve in Utah, and Abby and Spencer Cox set a precedent during their political campaign. Instead of spending money on purely campaign-driven media, they did service projects. They knew that whether they won or lost, they wanted the campaign to make a difference in Utah, and that drive for service has been carried on during their time in the governor’s office. Events are happening all over Utah all the time, encouraging communities to #ShowUpForService.

During the Q&A section, Abby talked about her family a bit, and how, before bed, although Spencer might have used his “words for the day” they talk about anything from politics to family, and that the majority of the time, like most of us, their focus is on their kids.

When asked how she wants to be remembered, Abby said, “I hope it won’t be me that’s remembered, I hope it will be my Unified Sports teams. I hope it will be that the foster kids that found love and connections are the thriving adults and leaders in the world. I hope that the communities that turn out to serve are better and uplifted and that the youth become the leaders that show us and take care of the problems.”

We’re with you Abby! Huge thanks to Abby and her team for joining us. To listen to Silicon Slopes Conversations with Abby Cox, watch below.

Listen to the podcast here:

‎Silicon Slopes Conversations: Silicon Slopes Conversation with Utah First Lady Abby Cox on Apple Podcasts
‎Show Silicon Slopes Conversations, Ep Silicon Slopes Conversation with Utah First Lady Abby Cox - Oct 31, 2022

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