Skip to main content

Meet Scholarship Winner Ashley Bellio

Dec 15, 2023

Thirty-three-year-old First Generation college student and mother Ashley Bellio has been awarded a Jeffrey C. Taylor Educational Opportunity Fund scholarship. Certified as an addiction counselor, Ashley works for a nonprofit organization focused on addiction and recovery and also serves on a board for addiction professionals, organizing trainings and meetings for others in the field. Born and raised in Berkshire County, she is now raising two boys there while finishing her bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in applied psychology. She looks forward to replacing her recently graduated nephew as the family's first generation to graduate from college, and then to pursuing a master's degree.

Every adult student has a story. What's your story?

I came back to school after some time off, about 10 years to be exact. I was determined to do something different than anyone in my family has done. I graduated on the Dean's List with my associate degree and plan to continue on to a master's program after this.

What does winning this scholarship mean to you?

Winning this scholarship means that someone believed in me, a complete stranger actually. It means that good people do exist and I have the honor of being recognized by them.

What is the best part about being a UWW Interdisciplinary Studies student?

So far, that I get to create my own degree plan and use my past schooling and professional experience to earn credits.

How do you balance work, school, and other responsibilities?

It is more difficult than I thought it would be, but it's all about discipline and achieving goals. I do homework, work, football with the kids, and house chores during the week. The weekends are left for me and my family. 

What are your plans for the future—professionally and personally?

I currently hold a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor certification. I plan to continue on after this program to obtain a master's degree in clinical addiction studies. 

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the person being featured and do not necessarily reflect those of the University.

University Without Walls scholarships exist thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends.