Meet Our Student Leaders: Nicole Ashley

Nicole Ashley Meet student leader, Nicole Ashley. She is a sophomore majoring in psychology with a concentration in human services and a minor in sociology. Her hometown is in Addison, Illinois. Read on to learn more about how Nicole is involved, and why being a leader is important to her.

What leadership roles do you hold, and what student organizations are you involved in?

I'm a Residential Education team student supervisor for the Education and Development Grant for Employability (EDGE) program, and last year I was a student on the ResEd EDGE team. I also volunteer as a research assistant for the Violence Prevention Project through the Center for Community Research on campus.

What are your future plans?

I plan to attend graduate school directly after I receive my bachelor's degree. Although I am not sure where I want to go yet, I am positive I would like to get my master's in social work. I want to work in Chicago and assist individuals, families and minorities out of poverty and into a successful life. My ultimate goal is to correct the inequalities that exist throughout this nation like discrimination against different races, ethnicities, genders/sexes, and the subsequent housing and occupational discrimination, etc.

Why do you choose to be involved as a student leader?

I choose to be involved as a student leader to push myself to become a better-rounded individual. In doing so, I am also broadening my own horizons by building specific professional skills, as well as accessing on- and off-campus resources that I can use for myself. Also, within my position, I am assisting first-year students develop their professional skills through being their EDGE supervisor, but I am also helping them grow as an individual in their personal life, their academic life and, most importantly, their professional life. It is seeing and helping with their journey of development that makes it worthwhile for me – it is so rewarding seeing your students and peers grow and become successful, while you are doing the same for yourself.

What have you learned about leadership through your work with others on campus?

I have learned that leadership is not about being in charge and telling people what to do. It is about learning how each person on your team works, and finding ways to mold those skills into one successful outcome. It is about being the support system for each person, and continuously finding ways to keep everyone motivated and working together as a team and a family. Leadership is about being a leader, a mentor, a friend and a coach. You need to lead your team in the right direction; you need to build a relationship with each person on that team, while making sure they are building relationships with each other as well; you need to assist them in any struggle or hiccup they may have, and coach them through it all while still being humble, personable and down to earth.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  • I have played basketball since I was three years old, but had to stop playing after high school because of my constant injuries.
  • After I graduate with my bachelors, I plan to go backpacking in Europe.
  • I am the youngest child in my family, and the only girl (three older brothers), and I am the first to go to college.
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