Ashlei Miller: Getting an Education... Not Just a Degree
You’d never know it now, but Ashlei Miller wasn’t looking to get involved when she first arrived at Gwynedd-Mercy College.
Yet, her time on the sidelines didn’t last long. In fact, after listening to a rousing speech at her freshman orientation, the young writer and teacher changed her mind entirely.
“You’re here for an education, not just a degree,” the speaker at orientation announced. And something just clicked for Ashlei.
Fast forward one year, and the sophomore with a permanent bright spark in her eyes is juggling responsibilities as class president, social representative and singer in the choir, as well as entertainment chair for a group she helped initiateGMC’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer. Oh, and Miller is taking an accelerated course load, finishing some of her classes in half the normal time.
Her secret to success? In part, Ashlei stresses, it’s the support she has received from the faculty. In fact, the person who has guided her from her very first visit is the Dean of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Lisa McGarry. Ashlei continues to interact with the Deanor “Lisa,” as she prefers to be calledon a regular basis because of her role in Student Government. “She’s one of the strongest relationships I have at this school, and she’s the Dean!” Ashlei exclaimed.
With positive role models at her service, Ashlei is honing her skills as a prospective English teacher. For her first internship, she served as a tutor-counselor with the Upward Bound Program a high school enrichment program for inner city kids. “One of the girls told me that I motivated her to go to college, which she hadn’t considered before,” smiled Ashlei. “What really stuck with me is that I could empower others just by being myself. I can make a difference!”
“I just want to make a difference.”
After watching Waiting for Superman, a documentary on the state of education in America, Ashlei hopes to end up in Washington, D.C. to get a graduate degree or teach. “I want people to love and appreciate school as much as I did,” said Ashlei.
About Ashlei Miller
In Ashlei’s Blog