Commencement Spotlight: Ashley Ford
Aug. 4, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti
Each semester, the Commencement Spotlight series highlights graduating Bearkats with a “can-do” spirit through challenges and service.
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
A U.S. Army veteran and mother of seven, Ashely Ford is an expert at overcoming hardships. The obstacles in her path never stopped her from finishing school and showing her family and friends that anything is possible.
“I have learned that I can overcome a lot more than I thought I could,” Ford said. “I always wanted to feel proud and accomplished with something I’ve done.”
Although Ford grew up in family that didn’t value education, it was still something she knew she wanted. However, that plan was put on hold during her high school years because she became a mother early in life.
Eventually, after living in a rural area that offered few options for her future, she decided to enlist. She served in the Army as a combat engineer for several years before she and her family relocated to College Station.
With dreams of working in the parole/probation field helping domestic violence survivors, she enrolled at Sam Houston State University to study criminal justice.
“I wanted to attend a university with a prominent criminal justice program and one that was close to home,” Ford said. “Through my experience in the Army, I became more assertive, which helped me in college and communicating with my professors.”
Ford and her husband welcomed their youngest child into the world in spring of 2022. While difficult, she has managed to handle the challenges of being a student and also a parent.
“I would bring my children to campus,” Ford said. “I was still able to be a hands-on mother and a full-time student. Going to school made me gain a degree and help deepen my love for my husband and children. Hard times can make good memories.”
While she endured plenty of hard work during her time at SHSU, Ford will miss all the interactions with fellow peers and professors.
“Getting this degree is a huge accomplishment,” Ford said. “I want to show my children, those who doubted me, and myself that things can be difficult, but you can give yourself a better life. Hard work does pay off.”
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