My name is Ashley Williams, and I am 17 years old. I attend Dorsey High School, and I’m a junior in the law magnet. I’ve been a proud member of Faithful Central Bible Church all my life, with Bishop C. Ulmer as my pastor in Inglewood, California. I’ve played volleyball for five years for my previous high school and three different club teams. I believe I’m a very outgoing and bubbly person, I’m academically successful, and I’m a violinist. I’m very involved in my community through my church and I attend the LAX Food Pantry often to feed the homeless. I’m a very active student because my dream college is either Howard University or UCLA.
I started my high school career at Chadwick School where volleyball was my safe haven: my escape. Until… one day my freshman year, we were doing a running drill, and I was in the lead. I wanted to win so I ran faster to secure my victory. As I approached the final line, I dove headfirst, hit my head and suffered a severe concussion. The concussion caused a loss of motor and cognitive skills. I had to learn everything over again, including the basics: walking, writing, and even talking. I missed months of my freshman year, and couldn’t play volleyball for a year. Three doctors told me I’d never play again, and it would be a while before I could go back to school. Depressed, I laid in a dark room completely isolated from the world. I concluded I had two choices: recover, or be complacent with the doctors’ opinions. I chose the former and returned to Chadwick faster than the doctors’ predicted.
Recovered and feeling almost whole again, my sophomore year presented yet another misfortune. My dad informed us that he would be laid off from his job in a month’s time. Since my dad provided the majority of income for my family, I knew there was cause for concern. I knew paying for club volleyball and my Chadwick education was more than they could handle. The pressure of seeing my parents struggle for me was too much. Consequently, after my sophomore year I said goodbye to Chadwick.
My junior year I enrolled at Dorsey High. Always a little on the outside in private schools, I find myself on the outside in a different way at Dorsey. Admittedly, my transition to public education was difficult, but I figured it out and I am stronger as a result. My transitions in high school have proved to me that I am ready for the challenges I could potentially face in college.
I plan to major in Communications and become a successful business owner. My goals are to improve my community by becoming a leader responsible for creating positive change through community organizing. I’ll use my college degree to succeed in this area. I’ve started the process this year by becoming Senior Class President for the class of 2015 at Dorsey after attending just two years. I believe that having past experience in leadership as a California State Youth Ambassador prepared me for this position. I had to quickly become acclimated with the students and culture in order to run for the position and successfully lead the senior class. I’m now organizing fundraisers on campus and leading various organizations including The Youth in Action Leadership Club and The Ladylike Foundation. My efforts have brought new ideals and awareness to the school.
Self-determination and perseverance will be my mentors as I’m completing my degree. The leadership experience gained has taught me how to strive and work for what I want to achieve. I want to leave an imprint on my school campus, my community and family. These goals are important to me. I’m confident in my career goals and the steps it will take to accomplish them.
Growing up, I was taught that I am a student first. The message was consistently clear that those before me paved the way for my education and it is my responsibility to obtain this priceless commodity. Attending a four-year university has always been a part of my life plan. Coupled with my strong willed mindset and career goals, I will not fail.