After spending almost her entire life in Joliet, Ashley Kranz didn’t give living, working, and attending school in the city too much thought. Now the 24 year old is living in Uptown and is someone Chicago can be proud of.

Ashley works for Aon as an apprentice in its Human Resources area, concentrating on benefits and the company’s well-being program, which provides health and wellness services to employees. She is also a Harold Washington College student, a first-generation college student who expects to complete her degree in December of 2018.

She takes her role as the family’s first to attend college and first to work in a corporate setting very seriously, as she hopes to provide an example of what is possible to her two younger siblings. “My goal is to provide some inspiration and show them that there’s a path from a dead end job to success,” she said. For Ashley, that route meant going from jobs as a restaurant manager and at a warehouse to City Colleges of Chicago, where her HR and business organization courses at HWC helped her better understand her work at Aon.

She was in and out of Joliet Community College after graduating high school in 2012, but those stints lacked purpose. “I wasn’t really sure what I was doing in school and didn’t really have many goals besides wanting to be successful and have a college degree” she noted.

After earning her associate degree from HWC, Ashley plans to further her education at DePaul and also continue on at Aon.

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