The sun is rising and Megan Newsome is up and ready to care for horses nearly 100 miles away from her hometown of Pikeville, the place that ignited her equestrian passion.
Megan is a Morehead State University senior who studies agribusiness and animal science. Megan spends much of her time at the 350-acre university farm but realizes her future career may not entail brushing or trotting horses around an arena.
"I don't really want to sit behind a desk, but that's the start of good jobs in the industry," Megan says.
Megan would eventually like to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Equestrian Federation.
"If it all falls into place that I'm training horses for the rest of my life, that's OK too," Megan says.
With graduation in the spring, Megan has started to prepare for life beyond MSU with her high school sweetheart of eight years, Dylan Tackett, who took a job in Louisville last year. Megan realizes that she could be exposed to more opportunities outside of her hometown and plans to join Dylan in Louisville.
"I feel like I'm doing myself a favor and doing the people that raised me a favor by going out in the world and trying to do something to benefit myself," Megan says.
Megan's mom, Tabitha Newsome, says she can tell her daughter has gained independence since attending MSU, a dream she's had since she was little.
"I would put her up against anyone, male or female, when it comes to being a hard worker," Tabitha says.
After graduation, Megan's distance from Pikeville will double.
"I love home, but home's always there," Megan says. "The same people may not be there and things might be different, but home is always going to be home. If it's 10 days from now or 10 years from now it's always going to be there."