UT Fall Commencement 2019: Ashley Humphrey

[upbeat music] My name is Ashley Humphrey and I’ll be graduating with a bachelor’s in English with a minor in Biology. Well, if we start with the last decade then by 2009 I would be a single mom with a two-year-old and have started and stopped school three times already. I met my husband in 2010 and in 2013 I had Lily. I enrolled at Roan State and within about a year and a half I think I had my associate’s degree in Biology. Then I got to UT and it was a whole different ballgame. Winding down on an available financial aid and wanting to have a fruitful change I found in English for Technical Communication and it seemed to fit the bill. [music fades; somber music starts] Anthony Keith Ward. I went to high school with him. He was bright. He was one of those firecracker lights He was five years older than me and things in his life had kind of pulled him away from finishing college traditionally. In 2017 before that semester started back, actually a couple of days after my birthday, he passed away unexpectedly. I knew I wanted to do something and I wasn’t sure what, and after thinking about it, it seemed perfect to make a scholarship in his honor. He’s a torchbearer. So it’ll carry on what he did, what he started, and hopefully make it a little more financially light on other students like him and myself. Being a single paren, being a new mom, even if you’re married, you know, eventually one day your kids are going to move out and you’re gonna have to have something for yourself, too. There’s never going to be a perfect time for anything. And if you are going to do something you just have to do it. I won’t say that in my own eyes it’s all balanced great. But in looking back, I balanced the priorities right. The future was a little scary before UT, but it has me excited for my future and what’s gonna happen after I graduate. It shaped me to be a little tougher. [music fades]

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