The second of our six MSO Mash-up finalists is Ashlea Shaw. Ashlea wrote the following article.
I am a born-and-raised Ohioan! I was born in Youngstown, and I grew up just south of there my whole childhood life. In high school, I was active in everything they would let me be in. Although, my favorites were student government, cheerleading, and of course school plays and show choir. I was crazy active in my church youth group, going on mission trips, camps, and traveling with our youth group band. I graduated from Columbiana High School in 2003, and 10 days later, moved to Mount Vernon Nazarene University to begin my college career. I majored in Fashion and Vocal Performance and spent every spare minute on stage. While at MVNU, I was fortunate enough to be a part of both the PR Band New Covenant, as well as the
Collegian’s Chorale traveling choir. My time at Mount Vernon was both a great learning experience, and a catalyst to the next phase of my life.
After leaving MVNU, and being unsure of what step to take next, I moved to Columbus to continue school, and to make sense of what my future held. I lived in many areas of the city, but my favorite place to live was on OSU campus. Participating in gamedays, walking around campus and the city, and living with friends were some of the best memories a girl could have. I can still remember the smell of the campus when the leaves changed in autumn, the taste of Buckeye donuts, and the incredible 4 AM conversations between friends.
Just prior to moving to the city, I met my husband Aaron, who also happened to live in Columbus. We were just babies when we met, and now we have quite a beautiful family ourselves. We were married in 2008, and our first son was born in 2010. We have four (yes, four!) kids, and there is never a dull moment in our house. Oliver (10), Loewen (8), Evelyn (5) and Otto (4), are just the coolest kids, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of little people to hang out with. It’s truly a privilege to be their mom. In 2014 we lost our middle son, Spencer, he would now be six years old. He is so greatly missed by Aaron and I, as well as his siblings. He is always a part of everything we do.
Five years ago we moved our family to Mansfield, and I can say, we have found a place to put down roots. After moving here, I decided it was finally time to reenter the world, rather than solely being a stay-at-home parent. I started looking into getting involved in our community, and especially in the theater. Also, I returned to school at Penn State (through their online World Campus), and I will be graduating with a degree in Biobehavioral Health in the spring. I plan on attending Kent State in the fall of 2021 to pursue my Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. A few years ago, I was inspired to start a nonprofit to teach life skills to kids that are aging out of foster care. I am incredibly anxious to finish school so I can begin that next phase. I am intensely moved by social issues, and I want to be involved in the change that I feel is coming. My days usually consist of running kids to and from school, doing yoga, watching Cleveland Indians baseball, hanging with the kids, or spending all my spare change at Relax, It’s Just Coffee while working on homework. I am so grateful for this life, for my family, and for the opportunities I have been given!
Come hear this busy, mom, wife, student, and amazing vocalist Ashlea at the MSO Mash-up concert on October 17 singing “Shallow” from A Star is Born.