I was already gripped by the tale of the “Unstoppable” Alyssa, a 17-year-old barrel racer who has taken life by the reins despite challenges that would keep most from ever saddling up. Then I got to the side story of Alyssa and Rosie. Not to give too much away, but it is about an instant bond and special connection bringing healing to each.
Cue the tears. Stories—well told and not sugarcoated—have a way of moving us, inspiring us, giving us perspective and even lifting us up.
Today’s main feature on a resilient teen and her helpers, including a special one, is such a story. It is beautifully told by Victoria Hampton, whose official job here is editor but who writes regularly and from the heart.
“You never know the stories that people hold,” Victoria says. “Whether it be your next-door neighbor or a resident of a community you’ve visited, shining the spotlight on everyday people and sharing their passions and triumphs brings us closer together.
At first glance, you wouldn’t know about Alyssa’s incredible accomplishments as a young equestrian. Her story makes us believe anything is possible and inspires us to dream big.”
On the pages ahead, you will find added inspiration in the story of a rural middle-school teacher earning notice for guiding a wildly popular FFA program.
Randi, who is from a family of educators, is following in the footsteps of her parents, who practiced teaching as a way to build community.
This is the latest installment in our 2022 series called “The Learning Curve.”
In addition to sharing stories on these pages, we’ve added podcasting to the mix, bringing you more of the story and a different way to experience it. Our January feature story on “Angel’s Journey” to save her Nez Perce
language is available for a listen, including hearing the native language. Check it out at www.ruralite.com/angels-journey.