Rockford High School’s Ashley Gremel, an Example in Excellence

Generous spirit seeks to help the less fortunate

Ashley Gremel, 17, is the daughter of Meredith and Andrew and sister to Emily. She is described as a most-dedicated student with a generous heart, who seeks to help the less fortunate.

Ashley has a jovial spirit and is a leader on her swim and water polo teams. She knits mittens and hats for the indigent, and runs the semi-annual blood drive at Rockford High School. She is a leader in Youth Initiative, a community service organization at Rockford High School.

Among examples of Ashley’s accomplishments are her position as captain of her swim team, Youth Initiative treasurer, blood drive coordinator, and founder of her Cast Off the Cold knitting and donation program. Through Cast Off the Cold, volunteers have donated over 1,400 scarves to the homeless in Grand Rapids and Lansing. Ashley founded this organization in 2007 when she was just 15.

Ashley is a Dartmouth Book Award winner, is recognized on the Principal’s Honor Roll, is a YWCA Tribute Award nominee, a four-year member of the varsity swim and water polo teams—and a member of the 2008 state championship swim team—twice an Academic All State, and scored over 30 on her SAT.

Other activities Ashley enjoys are marching band, where she plays alto saxophone, and wind ensemble, where she plays bassoon. She also enjoys knitting, being outdoors and playing with her two dogs.

Friends and staff describe Ashley as “always upbeat and positive,” despite a tremendous schedule and multitude of tasks. Ashley believes in losing herself in the service of others and pours herself into all she does. She believes in changing the world from a place where people are focused on serving themselves to a world where people are focused on serving humankind.

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