My mom always thought I would follow in her footsteps. Little did she know that my dad would become the parent to pass down a family profession. My name is Allison Graham. However some of you might remember me as Allison Townsley. I grew up in Toledo the daughter of Charley and Anita Townsley. I am a proud graduate of STC High School Class of '01. After high school I did follow in my Mom's footsteps, for a brief moment, by attending Central College (my mom's alma mater) where I thought I was going to major in Education. At that time in my life, it wasn't the right choice. After a somewhat rough first semester I found my place. I met one of my best friends Amanda and went on a service trip to Washington D.C. during my freshman spring break. That trip changed the course I was on. I engrossed myself in Campus Ministries and graduated in 2005 with a B.A. in religion.
That summer I did not have a job, so I traveled with Lakeview Camps to Reynosa, Mexico for another service trip. I met some great people including a boy named Darvin Graham. I didn't know it at the time but I was going to marry that young college boy! I ended up joining the Lakeview staff midway through the summer and spent a great few weeks working with young kids and falling in love with Darvin.
My first job out of college was at First United Methodist Church in Newton, Iowa at the end of the '05 summer. After two years of long distance dating Darvin and I got married. We moved to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio so Darvin could finish his last year of college at Kent State. Darvin introduced me to his Ohio community and over the course of a few years would forge some life-long friendships of my own.
We lived in Ohio for five years and decided to move home soon after my Dad lost his brave and graceful battle with cancer. Luckily, after a very quick job search I was hired at the Iowa Juvenile Home as a youth service worker.
Beyond all of the recent politics surrounding IJH, I would simply like to express my love and gratitude toward the staff, administrators, and youth that made working there so rewarding. I learned so much and met some of the most wonderful, dedicated and caring people during my time there. Losing that job was devastating to me. I really thought that was my future.
It is mind boggling to me how things work out though. A former administrator at IJH told me the paper was hiring and after applying I am here today as your new sports editor!
Words cannot express to you how I feel about having the job that my Dad had. It is incredible to sit at his old desk and use his camera. Over the course of these past few months I am already beginning to see, first hand, why he loved his job so much. It is such a blessing to be connected to my Dad in this way and I miss him everyday.
I began this new journey in the thick of basketball and wrestling season and so it has been a bit of a whirlwind recently! I have always enjoyed sports, especially high school sports. I love the idea that an entire town can get behind the students and support them to become not just better athletes but better people. I am also very excited that this job happens to be in my hometown. I realize that when you are in high school all you want to do is get out of this small town, and rightfully so. I think it's important to experience something totally different from what you are used to because it challenges you. But let me tell you, there is something special about being from a small town. Something that is difficult to come by in a large city. What I'm referring to is community. I have seen how this community gathers and rallies around it's people. I find this to be a remarkable and priceless asset.
I love the great state of Iowa so I like to support all Iowa teams, but in my heart will always be a Hawkeye.
I would like to send a shout out to my awesome husband Darvin Graham and mom Anita for all of the help with stats and moral support. Also thank you to the coaches for welcoming me and encouraging me thus far. I have to be honest as I am not sure just quite yet what my column will look like but what I do know is that I look forward to what the future holds. Go Trojans!