May 12, 2022
Meet Ashton Sidwell and Katie Graham, Heroes Landing Board Members
A returning board member, Ashton Sidwell has been fundamental in establishing the groundwork for Heroes Landing as well as its advisory board. Her work gathering community support for the 2021 Heroes Landing Golf Classic was pivotal to its success, and we look forward to seeing what more she’ll be able to do for our community in her second year.
Having joined us in 2022, Katie Graham is one of our newer members on the Heroes Landing Advisory Board. As a community member, she is passionate about spreading the word of how people can get involved and give back local.
Through their willingness to serve, both Ashton and Katie are helping advance an important mission. At the same time, their roles as board members requires them to be thoughtful, diligent, precise, and vigilant. We are proud to have them as partners in helping Muskingum County’s children.
Question: Why did you choose to get involved in Heroes Landing Children’s Justice Center?
Ashton: When I was approached about joining the board for Heroes Landing Children’s Justice Center, I was excited to learn more about the role and how I could make an impact on our local community. I’ve since learned there are so many unmet needs facing families and children who have been affected by sexual abuse. The closest place for support was over 60 miles away in Columbus. I knew right away I wanted to be part of the effort to bring a justice center closer to home.
Question: How is Heroes Landing different than other boards or organizations you are involved in?
Ashton: Believe it or not, I have never served on a board. This will be my second year on the board for Heroes Landing Children’s Justice Center. I have volunteered for other causes and organizations, and what really hits home for me, is the ability to make a difference in our local community. The highlight of this past year was finding a location for the justice center, which meant that locally we would soon have a safe place for families to access resources and support.
Katie: Heroes Landing is different than other boards that I am involved in because it connects children and their caregivers with support and healing that they so desperately deserve, during a time that no parent or child should go through.
Question: What do you expect from the organization?
Ashton: My hope is that this center increases our local community’s access to these critical services and brings a higher rate of recovery and healing to the children and families affected by sexual abuse in our county.
Katie: My expectations for Heroes Landing are simple. I expect Heroes Landing to become a safe, supportive, and accessible home for children and caregivers. Collaborating with area agencies to get the justice that is deserved for our children.
Question: What impact do you believe Heroes Landing will have within the community?
Ashton: Having a center in Muskingum County removes geographical barriers. Being able to drive ten or fifteen minutes down the road to our facility, where they will have all the tools to begin their healing process, is much easier than a commute out of the county. It’s an essential resource for our community.
Katie: Heroes Landing is the first of its kind here in Muskingum County and the impact will be comprehensive. From helping to streamline a process that can be extremely distressing for a child, to ensuring their safety, all while creating a space and a voice for victim's when they may have had none before.
Question: What excites you most about being involved with Heroes Landing?
Ashton: Knowing that I have been a part of bringing a children’s justice center to our County brings me great joy! I have three small children and I substitute teach in our school district. After learning the statistics of abuse in our county, I think about the children I pass in the hallways or have in class who may have been a victim of sexual abuse, and it breaks my heart. I am hopeful for the future knowing that we now have a space in Muskingum County to help those children and families.
Katie: Being involved in Heroes Landing excites me because there will be immediate support for children in our community. As the word spreads about this wonderful child justice center, I look forward to supporting our mission, advocating for our children, and helping children in our community become champions of their own future.
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