Life is good for Rachel Widomski
Life is good for Rachel Widomski. Despite a life changing setback, she graduated last spring summa cum laude with a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) in painting and drawing in the Department of Art at Ohio State and quickly embarked on a two-month road trip in her Mini Cooper, from Ohio to South Dakota, Washington, California, Arizona and all points in between. Along the way, she visited universities that might be good grad-school possibilities.
Those accomplishments take on even more significance when you know the journey that brought the vivacious, animated young woman to this place.
Widomski was 28 and a junior at Ohio State in 2008 when she was the victim of a tragic hit-and-run violent crime. A bartender at the time at Haiku restaurant in the Short North, she and a co-owner chased 43-year-old Michael Rose into the parking lot for not paying his $101 bill. Rose’s SUV that ran over her left her with extensive bodily injuries and complete paralysis below the waist.
After the crime, Widomski was ready to accept the challenges she faced. “I can’t stand to sit still. It’s just not me,” she explains. “I need to be challenged, and I knew going through this physically and mentally would keep me motivated.
“My first goal was to get myself healthy enough to get right back to school,” she adds. “There was no other option in my mind. Once I set my mind to something, there’s no turning back, whether it’s buying a certain pair of shoes or getting back to my art classes.”