Sponsored by Jim Tyler Construction and Solar
My name is Ashley Howell and I’ve lived in Exeter my entire life; my whole world consists of this small town charm everyone knows us for. My athletics, academics, and dreams all began in the same itty-bitty city where I would soon learn who I was and what the world had to offer me.
Being an athlete was a necessity at my house. I grew up on the softball field at the age of 4, I spent endless hours practicing to hit, catch, throw, and slide just to be the best, but once I turned 8, a new dream emerged: become a champion swimmer. Swimming became my passion and turned into something more, extra practices and swimming with the 18 year olds at age 11 just to bring home blue ribbons. Coming into high school, I gave up my beloved softball to continue my swim career which introduced me to water polo; here I made the varsity team as a freshman with no experience. By finding time in my schedule I was able to play on a club water polo team and, after months of work, we attended the 2017 Junior Olympics placing 4th in our division. As I grew, I knew what it meant to be the best; something I had always strived for, this dedication earned me 4 years on the varsity swim and water polo team with 5 captain positions. Not only was I rewarded for my efforts, but I was given opportunities to help those around me.
My dedication wasn’t just on the field, but in the classroom as well. I’ve always loved to learn new concepts and my competitive nature wanted the best grades as well. I never settled for less, I longed for those A’s. Late night studying, early morning help, and lunchtime questions assisted me in maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout high school.
I learned about soils, plant biology, and the grind of the “ag world.” I participated in FFA where I showed two hogs at the Tulare County Fair and created ag-based science projects, such as the fodder system, which no one in the entire school knew how to work. I was able to apply these new things to my own livestock at home, even if it was tagging my own sheep.
I have been a part of the community since I was born. I was raised on those playing fields so it’s no wonder I wanted to help them out any way possible. I started out keeping pitch count at baseball games or water girl for the football team, but exploded from there I began working concession stands and scoreboards before I even got into high school. I was there to sing the national anthem on Opening Day of baseball, and almost every Pop Warner football game. But my favorite is still the 50/50 raffle at the pewee, junior, and senior football games, selling those tickets was my skill, sometimes collecting $600 in one game. I love to coach the young kids on the swim and water polo teams where they are barely learning to love the water. I spend whole summers at the pool lifeguarding and giving swim lessons just so kids can be water safe.
As I start my senior year of high school with 2 college courses and practically 4 AP classes, I am starting a new chapter in my life. Not only am I playing two sports but I’m applying to universities in Hawaii and California with the goal of becoming a family practice physician majoring in physiology. My heart is set on helping people whether it’s in a modern day medical clinic or the hospitals of Mexico. The medical field is my calling and my passion for learning and helping others will lead me to the success of becoming the doctor I’ve always dreamed of.