I grew up in a small-town in Central Ohio. I actually lived on 'Main Street' for the majority of my youth, in a village that I would describe as 'Mayberry-like.' You know, the kind of town where everyone knows everyone and their family, friends, neighbors, kids, dogs...you get the idea. We played under the street lights, got 'lost' in the woods, went house to house when we needed a snack or a drink. From football games, to 4th of July celebrations, to fish frys, there was always something going on and the community was strong. So many memories, so much love, so much community. While I did attend Berne Union from pre-school until my Junior year of High School, I actually graduated from Lancaster High School (long story).
Growing up I was involved in many enrichment programs, most memorable would be 4-H and DARE. As a kid I played sports (baseball, flag football, basketball) and also enjoyed cheering. I danced, did some Kenpo Karate and even twirled a baton for a bit. In Junior High and High School I participated in Track and Cross-Country. Although I was athletically inclined, I was also musically inclined. I learned a little about playing the piano, though I was a terrible student, and also the clarinet. I also love to sing; you might just find me on a karaoke stage, or on a worship stage. But my artistic abilities didn't stop there...at one point I convinced my parents that I had the makings of 'a star' and they allowed me to explore theater, various auditions and even travel alone to "Hollywood" as part of a senior project. The experience was amazing and I remember it like it was yesterday...the career, well, it never launched.
The summer after graduation I joined the United States Air Force. I'm sure my family and friends would attest, I was generally known for my ability to execute the 'no plan, plan,' and the summer of 2000 was of no exception. Fun Fact: I remember being the only female to clear the pool table for a couple of rounds as I was waiting to process at the MEPS station. You might call it luck; I called it no fear. No weakness. No reservations. Full confidence. I was made for this journey. I started Basic Military Training July 12th and never looked back. I met my husband (Ryan) in 2002, got married in 2005 and had our beautiful daughter (Jadyn) in 2007. We currently live in North Carolina with our two dogs (Skip and Roadie).
Today, I am nearing the end of my USAF career with many sentiments. I have met and worked with some of the most amazing people the world has to offer. I have made life-long friends that would be there for you at the drop of a hat. I have learned more than I ever thought possible for a girl from a small village in Central Ohio. I have learned more about myself than any school could have taught me. I have learned more about the world than I ever could have imagined existed.
So, what's next for me? #RETIREMENT2020! That's right! On August 1, 2020, I will say "thank you and good bye" to Active Duty and assume the title and status of 'retired.' I could not be more excited to seize the opportunities that lie ahead of me, fueled by the education, training and experiences I will carry within me. I am ready to take all that I have learned and share it with others. From education and training, to leadership and mentorship, and now coaching. I am equipped and empowered to transform lives through personal development and social and emotional learning!