Ashlyn Gruber: Making a Difference
Within the ranks of Vail Christian High School's alumni, there are those who not only stand out but continue to make a difference in the world. Ashlyn Gruber, a member of the Class of 2012, exemplifies the spirit of excellence and achievement that defines our community.
Ashlyn's journey from VCHS to her current role in family medicine and urgent care at WakeMed in Durham, North Carolina, is nothing short of inspiring. While at VCHS, Ashlyn distinguished herself as a competitive athlete in both track and field and volleyball, laying the foundation for the discipline and dedication that would define her future pursuits.
As a graduate of VCHS, Ashlyn pursued a Bachelor's degree in Biology at Davidson College. Her time at Davidson provided Ashlyn with unique opportunities for hands-on experiences. Majoring in Biology, she delved into the world of medicine, shadowing a physician assistant (PA) in the Vail Valley and undertaking a summer abroad in Zambia, contributing to global health initiatives.
After graduating from Davidson in 2016, Ashlyn took her passion for biology and health to Washington D.C., where she served as a clinical research assistant for the National Institutes of Health, collaborating with a genetics lab within the National Human Genome Research Institute. It was during this experience she was inspired and encouraged to pursue a career in medicine and applied for a spot in the Physician Assistant program at Duke University.
During Ashlyn’s years at Duke, she was engaged in studying pediatric oncology at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and continued pursuing opportunities to participate in firsthand experiences with Global Health during her 4 week clinical rotation in Ecuador. Since completing her PA Program at Duke in 2020, Ashlyn has been making a difference in the lives of patients in family medicine and urgent care at WakeMed. Her commitment to healthcare and her community is a testament to the values instilled during her formative years at VCHS.
Reflecting on her time at VCHS, Ashlyn acknowledges the profound impact of teachers like Ms. Camille Cooper, Mr. Patrick Beaudine, Mr. Doug Bruce, Mrs. Nancy Whitley and Coach Cathy Alexander. These mentors played a pivotal role in her academic and athletic development, shaping the person she is today.
Ashlyn's memories of high school are filled with gratitude for the support she received in the nurturing environment of VCHS. She encourages current and future students not to shy away from new opportunities, emphasizing the importance of saying 'YES' and embracing the challenges that come with growth. Her journey is a testament to the transformative power of education, resilience, and the unwavering support of a community that believes in the potential of its students.
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