Aspen Arielle Poulson, Aberdeen’s Distinguished Young Woman (DYW) of 2013, returned from Idaho Falls after spending a week preparing for and participating in the Idaho Distinguished Young Woman program, which was held at the Idaho Falls Civic Auditorium, Oct. 3 through 5.
“It was a week full of non-stop learning and laughing,” she said.
The minute they got there on Sunday night, Sept. 29, they put on their tennis shoes and started learning their fitness routine.
“I thought the routine for our local program was hard, but the state fitness program was unbelievable. It really challenged us to dig deep and do our best,” she said.
Some of the highlights of the week for Aspen were her host family, some of the girls, and the incredible support she received from the people in Aberdeen.
“My host family, the Rydalch family from Idaho Falls, were the best. I got sick when I was up there with laryngitis and Allison, my host Mom, got me cough drops, and took care of me. Some of the girls were so fun. A few of the girls I knew from sports competitions or cheerleading, but being able to share this week helped us to move beyond competitors to friends. And finally, the support I received from the people in Aberdeen was overwhelming, from the many people who travelled up there three nights in a row, to the people who put things on my Up/Down table, I say Thank You. I was so touched by the many thoughtful cards, gifts and flowers that were sent to encourage me. I am also grateful for the people in the community that helped me to accomplish my Shoes for Love goal. We ended up with 1,365 pairs of shoes for the people in Africa.”
Travis Gugleman, the sponsor of the Shoes for Love program, surprised everyone and donated a trip to Africa for the winner of the state DYW program. Miiko Touissant of Blackfoot will get to travel to Africa and see the benefits of the people who will receive the support of the shoes.
“I thank the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce for their support of this program in Aberdeen. It truly was a life changing experience and one that I think I will more fully realize as time goes by,” Poulson said.