When Waggoner Road Junior High School teacher Doug Pryor was looking for a guest speaker who could talk to his students about real-world experience, he didn’t have to look too far. His sister Ashley, a CEO and founder of a rowing academy and a member of the Ohio State University’s women’s rowing team that won a Big Ten championship in 2011, was the perfect fit.
“I wanted the students to hear about Ashley’s journey and the importance of setting goals,” Doug Pryor said. “She’s shown that with every situation you experience in life, you have to be passionate.”
Ashley Pryor spent the day talking with each of her older brother’s classes October 13, 2022, about topics that included physical and financial wellness.
“It’s been exciting, the kind of questions they’ve been asking,” Ashley said. “One girl asked how long I’ve been rowing. When I told her it’s been 12 years, she said ‘That’s my entire life!’ Those types of connections about length of time when you’re trying to work toward a goal shows that it’s not instant and it may take some time.”
Pryor was open with the students about the ups and downs in her life that have included being furloughed from a job and closing a business. Most recently, she was named a group rowing instructor for Pelaton.
She shared with the students how rowing can be a metaphor for life.
“You’re going to have some waves and choppy water, but what tools do you have to be able to move through that,” she said. “I really wanted them to know that the setbacks (in life) are really setups for something else.”