Introduction to Teaching
February 17, 2004
Family, Faith and 4-H:
The Road to Manchester College’s Education Program
To really understand who I, Ashley Nicole Libben, really am, it is essential to understand
my family life. My family is undoubtably the most important and influential aspect of my life.
My dad is a dairy farmer and a volunteer fireman. He is originally from Port Clinton, Ohio, but
moved to Albion, Indiana shortly after college. My dad understands me better than any other
person. He can read my emotions and thoughts and reacts with amazing tact and understanding.
I admire my dad for his strength, character and solid beliefs. My mom is a registered nurse and
volunteers as a 4-H leader and a Sunday school teacher. Since coming to college, my mom has
become one of my best friends. I love shopping, watching movies and just talking with her. My
mom is warm, energetic and selfless. The final member of my family is my sister Courtney. She
is seventeen years-old and an amazing athlete. My sister can make me laugh regardless of my
mood, and we always have fun together. My sister inspires me because she is contagiously funny,
never quits and has incredible self-confidence. My family is my center, and whenever anything
gets thrown off balance in my life, I turn to them.
My faith and church have also had an immense impact on my life. I am a member of the
Blue River Church of the Brethren and love all of the people within the church. I am continuously
amazed at how caring the people from my church really are. Every month, I receive at least one
care package and several cards of encouragement from people from my church. My faith and
relationship with God have shaped my values and how I react to different situations. My
relationship with God helps me to explore who I really am and push myself further in every aspect
of my life. God has been, and is, a constant in my life.
One of the greatest character-shaping activities of my life has been 4-H. Working with
livestock has taught me responsibility and forever changed my work ethic. Other projects have
taught me to plan effectively and manage my time. Working with my club has really rounded my
sense of leadership. I love working with the younger members and helping them with their projects
and any problems they may have in life. Beyond clubwork, 4-H has been a great social experience
for me. The 4-H program is an amazing place to meet lots of different people; I have met some of
my best friends through 4-H.
I have always loved learning, and my high school was very conducive toward my learning
style. I had several teachers who not only pushed me with my grades, but they also encouraged me
to push intellectual limits and make learning what I wanted it to be. One of these teachers in
particular, Nora Moorhouse, has particularly influenced me. She is an amazing person; she is
intellectual, spiritual and altruistic. She continues to grow every day, and I hope to have just a
fraction of the effect she has had on my life on one of my future students life.
Throughout high school, I was always academically involved. I was an Honor Student and
a member of the Charles Adair Chapter of the National Honor Society. Through NHS, I
participated in many community service projects. Another amazing group that I was a part of was
Central Noble America’s PRIDE. The group is a drug prevention group that is also service-based.
Through PRIDE, I was able to work as a mentor to children at the Noble House which is a home
for abused women and children. These children were amazing and taught me just how universal
education, and the thirst for it, really are.
All of these aspects of my life have drawn me to Manchester College. First of all,
Manchester is close enough to my home to allow me to visit my family whenever I or they need it.
Because I am a member of a Brethren church, I have heard of Manchester College all of my life.
Also, through 4-H, I have met current and past students of Manchester who truly love Manchester.
Their fervor and passion for this campus truly intrigued me. Manchester is well known for its
amazing intellectual setting. With a Nobel Prize winner among numerous others, it was
impossible to ignore Manchester’s history of academic excellence. I was also amazed at
Manchester’s belief in service. In a time when so many colleges focus on going to class, taking
tests and graduating, Manchester invests in its students. This above all else drew me to Manchester
College. Manchester is a personal college full of professors and administrative officials who truly
care. In this amazing atmosphere, I can be myself and will, hopefully, grow and find myself.