LCC Class of 2019
Ashley intends to complete a bachelor's degree in human development with a certificate in early childhood education.
Ashley Smith Wins WSU-V Community College President’s Award
Ashley Smith used to believe she would never get a college degree. Her parents did not value or even discuss education, and neither graduated from high school. Once she had children of her own, however, Ashley realized that she wanted to change that dynamic and set a good example for her kids. She began a long struggle with dropping in and out of college in Colorado, all while caring for her children, working multiple jobs, and dealing with drug and alcohol addiction.
Eventually she packed her kids and belongings into her car and moved to Castle Rock. Within a month, she was enrolled at LCC with a firm resolve to immerse herself in the college experience and finally get to the finish line. She quickly got a job working in the University Center on campus during her first year, and is now a part of the inaugural group of LCC Student Ambassadors. Ashley is also the Vice President of Leadership for Phi Theta Kappa, LCC’s honor society.
Ashley credits the instructors in the early childhood education program and her LCC supervisor with helping her succeed. “Ann (Williamson), Sue (Akins-Fields), and Josie (Zbaeren) have been so wonderful. They have helped me throughout the entire process, really making sure I'm successful and graduating as close to on-time as possible,” she said. “Stacey Sowders, my boss with the student ambassador program, has been my number one supporter. She is always there for me. She's been wonderful,” said Ashley.
After completing her degree this summer, Ashley will begin at Washington State University-Vancouver (WSU-V) this fall tuition-free, thanks to her WSU-V Community College President's Award. She intends to complete a bachelor's degree in human development with a certificate in early childhood education. Her goal is to work for Child Protective Services or in a similar role. “I am not 100 percent sure what I want to do, but I want to be a voice for children who don't have one. I want to make sure they are in a safe and secure environment and properly cared for,” she said.