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Appreciation for the place that raised me

Friday, August 25, 2023

By: Ashley Bishop, KEDCO Intern

This story is part of a summer blog series focused on experiences in Kosciusko County through the lens of KEDCO Communications Intern, Ashley Bishop. As a K-County native and senior at Butler University, Ashley shares her inside scoop on things to do and places to see, as a 20-something living life fully in Kosciusko County.

While I was not born in Kosciusko County, I was raised here since my family made the move to Warsaw when I was 5 years old. Honestly, I adored growing up in this county as it truly allowed me to be a kid and spend immense amounts of time outdoors. I loved the schools, the parks, and of course the abundance of lakes. 

Growing up, I was a proud hornet at Washington STEM Academy and was a student when the school began the STEM program. I had such a genuinely fruitful time in elementary school as I participated in sports and all the fun learning activities that come with being a STEM school. During the day, I was in water waders testing the turbidity of the water or trying to figure out code for robotics. Words cannot express how much enjoyment I got out of our pajama days, celebrating WIlliam and Kate’s royal wedding with a tea party, field days, and celebrating holidays. I was able to have an academically rigorous day with loads of fun sprinkled in which created an ideal school environment for me. After school, I was at cheer or track practice having the time of my life. I don’t think words could express how lucky I truly am to have such an enriching learning environment in grade school. 

My life outside of school was equally as fruitful as I spent lots of time helping with KCV, thanks to my dad. Sometimes I’d find myself in the depths of the trails helping with cleaning up after a storm. Other times, I was helping with events such as time trials or Fat & Skinny Tire Festival. During my time with the group, I was lucky enough to find a fun-loving and devoted band of people where I gained numerous friends that also frequently turned into mentors. I quickly discovered how eager this community is to pour itself into people as many are eager to see others succeed. 

With numerous sports coaches, amazing family friends, and impactful teachers, I was able to learn incredibly valuable lessons that I have brought with me into adulthood. Some of these lessons include the importance of emotional intelligence, how to work in a team, failing is okay as long as you learn from it, and learning is a lifelong commitment. Not all of these things came to me easily, but they have all impacted me the same. 

This county, its environment, and the amazing people within it all equate to what made me the Ashley that wrote this blog. As I continue to grow and tiptoe further into adulthood, my time here and the connections I have made continue to impact my life and forever will. I have so much to be grateful for as I finish my final semester of college and take that big girl step into the workforce. But, I have this community to thank as they have taught me so much that will hopefully make this step easier.

This blog concludes my blog series and it has been a true honor to have had the opportunity to take on this project and show some appreciation for the place that raised me.

Ashley during a science lesson at Washington.

Ashley cheering at Washington.

Ashley as a senior at Warsaw Community High School.