Sisters begin college journey together

Amanda and Ashley Stockmaster are twin sisters who grew up on a farm in New Washington, Ohio. It was the farm that helped them decide what they wanted to do with their future, which included attending North Central State College.

Amanda is studying to be a mechanical engineer while Ashley wants to study agriculture education eventually. She is currently getting her associate degree in liberal arts.

Growing up the girls had everything from horses to sheep to alpacas on their farm. They learned to take care of the animals and the farm equipment at a young age. The first animals the family began taking care of were horses. Those horses helped the young girls learn to walk. Ashley explains, “The way the horses shift is the same motion as your torso. It helps you gain your balance.”

Amanda adds, “We started with horses because the neurologist and the orthopedic doctors said they would help us learn to walk. When you ride horses, it is the same motion as when you are walking.”

The Stockmaster sisters have cerebral palsy, a developmental disability that affects movement, posture, and coordination. It is caused by brain damage before, during or after birth.

Amanda chose North Central State College for the mechanical engineering program. After graduating from Pioneer Career and Technology Center. She says, “Once I graduated from Pioneer, I wanted to keep going down the same path, so North Central State College was my next step.”

“It is nice that you have small class sizes and instructors that you can understand and can understand you and your circumstances.”

Amanda’s favorite class is engineering materials. She says, “In that class, we pulled metal and plastic bars apart to calculate the force that it took to break the bar. I’m learning a lot from those experiments.”

Ashley also enjoys the smaller class sizes. She explains, “Here you have classes that are small enough where you can get acquainted with your classmates. You can also send them a message through Canvas and ask them to explain the assignment.”

Both Ashley and Amanda will graduate in May 2018. Ashley will obtain her associate degree in Liberal Arts and would like to attend either Wilmington College or The Ohio State University for her bachelor’s degree. “What I am shooting for is to be in a high school setting teaching agriculture.”

Amanda will obtain her associate degree in mechanical engineering. She hopes to enter the workforce following graduation.