Pursuing a college degree can be very expensive for students. Association House High School created the Harriet Sadauskas Educational Scholarship to assist students with their tuition and books. The $5,000 scholarship was awarded to Ashley Roman and Alejandra Ramirez, making these inspiring graduates the inaugural recipients of the scholarship.

Ashley is a Youth Scholars, Skills, Service Program (YS3) graduate who never lets anything stop her. “Ashley takes her schooling seriously and never hesitates to take on challenges that support her academic growth,” praised YS3 Program Clinician, Noura Ebrahim.

Alejandra, an English Language Learner (ELL) and proud mom to a two-year-old son, also stood out to staff. “I have not had a student complete as much work as she did in a limited amount of time. I am extremely proud of her work and look forward to seeing what she will accomplish in the future,” wrote Philip Pilger, Diverse Learning Mentor, in his recommendation.

Both Alejandra and Ashley have faced many different hurdles, but their determination and desire for a better future for themselves and their families continues to be their biggest motivator while going through college at Wilbur Wright College. We sat down with them to learn more about their Association House High School experience and how this scholarship will impact their lives. 

What does it mean for you to get this scholarship?

Alejandra: It means hope because I always say that I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I’m going to do it. I have that hope that I will do it. It’s like when I signed up for college my boyfriend told me, “Ok just sign up for that and God will help us,” but I didn’t know how we would pay for it or pay for my books. He told me that and God is helping us right now. I don’t know how to express how I feel – there are so many emotions I’m feeling right now, I’m feeling happy. I honestly can’t believe this – it’s hard to express myself right now.

Ashley: For me, this means that I would get the help to get to where I want to be, get the things I need. I want to have a successful future, so first I want to get my college paid off. Then, I want to get a house and get my mother things too. I just want to give her back everything that she gave me, and she never had, you know?

What made you want to pursue college after high school?

Alejandra: I had too many jobs that I didn’t like – I didn’t feel happy working at the grocery store. There was lots of discrimination, lower payments, and long hours working without having a lunch. I realized that I don’t want that for myself, and I don’t want that for my child. I want to give Liam the best, and I have to be an example for him. I want to work in a field that I love. I want to love my job.

Ashley: I want to be successful and make a difference in the world. It’s what motivated me stay focused on my future. I want to become a therapist and study at a higher level to become a psychologist.

How have your classes been so far at Wright?

Alejandra: It’s like a normal class, they don’t expect us to know everything. I understand everything they say, and I like the classes. If I need help, then I can reach out to the teachers, and they have all the information for us. I feel so happy because I can’t believe that I’m really in college. I can’t believe it. I’m taking two English classes, one psychology class, and one math class – and its statistics class not really math. That’s why I like it because they use our personal lives to connect it to the class so we can understand better. I like all my classes, and I want to take more.

Ashley: They’ve been good, I just need to pay attention. I’m taking a computer and English class right now and later on I’ll start [studying] criminal justice and music. My favorite class [right now] is computer because it’s easy, but English because I [understand the material] from the text and I can apply it to world, which is very valuable.

How do you think Association House prepared you for college?

Alejandra: For the short time that I was here I feel like I was [well] prepared by working with Mr. P. His first language is English, so he taught me a lot of words in English, how to write in English, and how to use commas. I’m not an expert right now, but I learned a lot [which helped me] express myself better in English and write. I’m still learning more in college, so I know I’m going to get better. Association House High School gave me a lot of resources and that’s why I felt prepared to go to college.

Ashley: Association House prepared me to not let [the] little things that don’t matter stop me. To keep going no matter what because at the end of the day it’s gonna be worth it and if nobody is happy then I should be [happy] for myself because there are people who do care about me, and it doesn’t have to be the people I want.