With leaps and bounds | VailDaily.com

With leaps and bounds

Cindy Ramunno
Kristin Anderson/Vail Daily

Just 18 years ago, a scrappy little fighter ” Ashley Rohweder ” entered the world at 1 pound, 14 ounces – three months before her due date. Back then, the Eagle Valley High School senior didn’t know about the odds stacked against her.

The first two months of her life was spent in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver. That was the first hurdle Rohweder jumped, and she couldn’t even walk.

From there, more hurdles were in her path, the most exciting ones being very literal. Rohweder took first place at the 4A track meet in the 300-meter hurdles last May as a junior. She has also carried just over a 4.0 GPA and has been involved in Drama Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Link Crew, National Honor Society, STUCO, choir, volleyball and basketball.

“My summer plans are to work and try and relax a little bit before college!” says Rohweder. Relax? If you’ve had the opportunity to know Rohweder, relax isn’t the word that comes to mind. In addition to her many school-related activities, she has continually held jobs and been immersed in her church youth group.

EVHS science teacher Daniel Carden says it best: “Her commitment to succeed is awe-inspiring.” He goes on to note her incredible work ethic, honesty and dedication. “What makes Ashley really stand out is her approachability, sense of humor and big heart.”

Rohweder has lived in Gypsum her entire life, attending Eagle County schools. With both parents being educators, Rohweder values her academic schedule. “That means not skipping school, not having a fake sick day and having to turn in every assignment,” jokes Rohweder. Her dad, Randy, is a former teacher and coach at Eagle Valley High School. Mom Marsha teaches first grade at Red Hill Elementary.

“My parents, as well as my sister, have shown me what it’s like to be a faithful and strong person ” even through the worst of times. They have always wanted me to be happy, stay strong in what I believe, and always give my best effort,” says Rohweder, adding, “They have always been so supportive, and that is all they have ever asked for in return.”

Rohweder will attend the University of Arizona this fall, majoring in business, marketing and entrepreneurship. She signed a letter of intent for the track program at the school, something doctors at St. Luke’s would surely find amazing, looking at her file from 18 years ago.

Rohweder has advice for younger students: “Many people are willing to listen to your problems and give you advice, but sometimes we are too afraid to seek it. Lean against those around you in hard times and it will get you through it,” she advises. Her parents have also given her important words of wisdom and support in the way of athletics, schools and her personal life.

She appreciates having grown up Gypsum, but is ready for the next hurdle. “As I’ve gotten older, I appreciate it more,” Rohweder says of the area. “The real community feeling is here that you don’t get in cities. I used to think it was so boring living here, but you definitely find ways to keep busy if you try. I mean, I’ve done it so far, right?!”

And next fall, while Rohweder clears more hurdles in Tucson, her family and friends back in the valley will be rooting for her. But nobody is worried. Teacher Carden adds, “Ashley has integrity in all levels of her life.”

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