Ashley Williams is always eager to learn something new – and now she is on a mission.

Ashley completed a few semesters of college at a four-year university after she graduated from high school with honors. Unfortunately, she had to stop taking classes due to finances. Seeing it as a temporary setback, this Austin Community resident put her passion for writing to work as a freelance journalist and notary public. She also attended personal and professional development classes “to keep my mind active.”

Last year, she took an iOS App Development class at Malcolm X College, where she heard about the college’s Project MPACT—a program that provides tuition, stipends, job training, and professional skills development to assist in job placement for students completing one of seven basic certificate programs. As a life-long community volunteer, youth mentor, and more recently tutor, the Community Healthcare Worker program immediately sparked her interest.

Now an active member of the Malcolm X College community, she has participated in the Be the Match bone marrow donor registry, and joined the Biology Club.

“I always knew I would go back to school. I have always wanted to finish my degree- and my mom has always been there to motivate me when I need it. She will not let me give up,” Ashely said.

After she earns her basic certificate as a CHW in May, Ashley plans to find an opportunity to continue working with youth and help to give them a voice – something that she says is usually lacking in discussions about community health. Ashely also plans to continue working toward her associate degree in business at Malcolm X College, learn more about career possibilities in the healthcare field, and of course, continue to focus on self-improvement and life-long learning.

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