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Sarah Bowling

Help me CELEBRATE my graduation -- DONATE to KFTC!!    

The chances are that if you are reading this, then you know me.  You probably know that I am politically active. And you most likely know that I am a member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. What you might not know is why.  

I grew up in Central Appalachia in a town built on coal. Both sides of my family worked in and around the business. I even had “Coal Keeps the Lights On” paraphernalia.

Like a lot of kids in my hometown, I got into a bit of trouble after high school. I ended up in Florida, through the help and insistence of my family, where I was able to pull it together and get my life back on track.

I went back to school and built a life there. It was beautiful and more than I probably deserved. 

Fast forward nine years.

My grandfather was diagnosed with Dementia with Lewy Bodies. I decided to move 1,000 miles back to Kentucky. While being close to my grandfather was a large part of the decision, the move was not about him entirely. I had watched my nephews grow up from afar (thanks, Facebook) and couldn’t help feeling that I was missing out on the most important part of life – family.

Harry and I moved to Kentucky in October of 2015. Matt Bevin was elected the following month. From day one I was concerned about the rhetoric that he was using. His plan to dismantle KYNECT horrified me. I had gone from a Healthcare.gov plan that I paid $215 a month for as a college student to an expanded Medicaid plan that was free and offered better healthcare. I did not want to see folks kicked off healthcare - especially those in areas suffering economically from the decline of coal. 

Like many of us, I was feeling very hopeless. I began researching ways to impact what was coming. Enter Tanya Torp, Beth Howard, and KFTC. I found the Heinz Breakfast, hosted by Tayna and Christian Torp. If you’ve never been to a Heinz Breakfast, go! I went to hear what people had to say about healthcare and opened the door to a new world. This may sound hyperbolic, but it is entirely accurate.

During breakfast, I was introduced to KFTC, and my life changed forever.

Things my involvement with KFTC has given me: a purpose, a passion, a way to make an impact on the lives of those around me, a voice, a community of loving friends, and an avocation.

See, KFTC does great work in the areas of economic, social, and environmental justice, but their real magic is in creating leaders on the ground in the communities where they work.

I came back to KY with no real direction, other than a desire to go to graduate school. Through my work with KFTC, I found one. I found that I love government and the political process and that I want to make a difference. Who knew?!

Next Saturday I graduate with my Master's of Public Administration from a university that I dropped out of shortly before moving to Florida. Tonight I receive the Janet Patton Award, an award given in recognition of outstanding scholarship in public administration, contributions to the MPA program, and high potential for excellence in public service. I have not done this alone. It has taken a village and KFTC is a large part of that village.

I ask that, in honor of this achievement, you donate to Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, or better yet, join and become a sustaining member.

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