Stephanie Abrams Travel Fairy Godmother Striking Again for Ashley Dawn Loggings, Homeless to Harvard Student
When I heard the story almost 7 weeks ago about Ashley Dawn Loggins reported on the day of her graduation from Burns High School in North Carolina, I had to run to the closet to get out my magic wand and Stephanie Abrams Travel Fairy Godmother cape to create a bit of bibetty-bobbety-boo for this amazingly focused young woman who found herself abandoned by her mother and left to fend for herself in the midst of her high school years. You’d have to have had your heart surgically removed from your body not to be touched by the trauma of that moment of abandonment, even by a neglectful parent. Dawn, as she prefers to be called, managed to overcome a huge variety of obstacles thrown into her path including being creative at coming up with candles to study by when the electricity was turned off and carting gallons of water from her school to her home so that there was water to wash with and to use to flush toilets. When you hear her story, it sounds like something that would happen in the jungles of Africa or a third-world destination like Haiti. But this series of true-story incidents took place in Dawn’s life in North Carolina.
With the help of a concerned community, Dawn made it through high school to graduation as an “A” student whose applications to state colleges were accepted. But, with the help and care of her high school principal who submitted her application to Harvard University along with his letter of recommendation, Dawn, promoted in the media as “From Homeless to Harvard,” was accepted in the Freshman Class of 2012.
It was clear to me that part of Dawn’s future success will be associated with uplifting, inspiring, enhancing and enriching experiences that come from travel. As the Travel Fairy Godmother, you’d expect that I’d see the relationship with experiences in the world that would deepen academic understanding. And then there’s the need to fill in the gaps with some celebrating of the momentous benchmarking occasion of Dawn’s graduation from college.
So I set about to do 2 things that I’m hoping we’ll be able to accomplish:
1) After speaking with Dawn and getting insights from her related to her calendar of availability, the Stephanie Abrams Travel Fairy Godmother is providing Dawn with a one week stay at the Club Med Sandpiper Bay all-inclusive resort in Port St. Lucie, Florida. A little bit of living, playing, relaxing and dining well is just what the Travel Fairy Godmother prescribed. We’ve got dates all set at Club Med and we’re just waiting to finalize the visit with Dawn. I’m expecting that Dawn will also have a chance to benefit from some tennis lessons while she’s there overseen by the great tennis coach, Gabe Jaramillo, who has coached just about every major tennis star whose name you know! We’ll keep you posted on the experience!
2) As soon as Dawn finalizes her calendar of classes, the Stephanie Abrams Travel Fairy Godmother will set to work to push through the process of getting Dawn a US Passport so that she can visit Ireland on her Spring Break! I can’t think of a better destination to commune with the greats in literature, poetry, music, art, dance, science, and the spirit of all of those who, going back to Patrick, dealt with hardship, sacrifice, deprivation, persecution, and the worst kind of difficulties and yet managed to break through the dark clouds to sunnier skies with humor, achievement, and excellence! I am sure that Dawn will learn much from the experience of learning from the Celtic tradition of the ancients to the modern folks in Ireland who will be thrilled to offer her Cead Mile Failte, One Hundred Thousand Welcomes, and, in typical Irish fashion, extend their warmth and hospitality so that she will be “well looked after!”
The Stephanie Abrams Travel Fairy Godmother is all set to rock ‘n’ roll on this end with people from Florida to Ireland ready to pitch in to level the playing field for Dawn as those of us in the travel industry know well how important travel is to a well-rounded education and how important travel is to truly understanding what the story-tellers and historians are really trying to communicate. There is no better teacher than life’s experience and travel to places where all the things you’ve learned in a classroom come to life in a magical way.
I can’t think of a more exciting way to celebrate a graduation than at Club Med or expand an interest in every aspect of education than in Ireland! And Dawn deserves it all!
--Gotta Fly Now!sm
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