Central High Senior Receives Full Scholarship to ‘Dream School’ Brown University | Best Of
This fall Ashley Washington will follow her dreams as she begins attending Brown University to become a bilingual neonatologist. The Central High School senior will get that opportunity thanks to a lot of hard work and a program called QuestBridge.
QuestBridge is a nonprofit program that connects high-achieving high school students with admission and full scholarships to participating colleges. Now in its ninth year, QuestBridge’s National College Match opportunity provides students from economically challenged backgrounds with a unique early application process that couples admission with full financial aid. Ashley was among 383 high school seniors from across the nation who received a full four-year scholarship from their school of choice through QuestBridge.
Ashley said the scholarship has completely changed her future. She had planned to attend a community college or four-year university in state, but now with the scholarship she will be the first in her family to head out of state for school.
“It actually completely changed my plans for going to college because before it was never really a doubt in my mind that I would go to college somewhere – and I wanted to go to Brown University, but it was more of a dream school I guess,” she said. “QuestBridge actually gave me the courage to apply for it because of the fact that it was free so there was nothing to really lose in that sense besides maybe extra time writing an essay or two.”
At Central High, Ashley has taken part in the school’s rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) program and taken Advanced Placement (AP) courses. She is also President of the Spanish Club, Treasurer of the BETA Club, Service Chair of the National Honors Society, and a member of the school’s Book Club.
Ashley also believes in giving back to the community she grew up in. She tutors underprivileged children each weekend and worked to establish a program to help immigrants obtain their citizenship.
Her extracurricular activities are what helped her stand out as a college applicant, she said.
“I’ve learned that grades aren’t everything,” she said. “I guess in a way they’re looking for more well-rounded students as opposed to people who are just all academics and nothing aside from that so that’s what really gave me an edge.”
IB Spanish teacher Marcia Wright said she wasn’t surprised by Ashley’s success with QuestBridge.
“She’s a wonderful student,” she said. “She doesn’t just do what she has to, she goes beyond the basic requirements in a class. She’s very thoughtful. She’s great at helping other students. …. I’m just really proud of her. She’s worked really, really hard, set a lot of goals, and put in a lot of work to get where she is.”
To learn more about QuestBridge, visit www.questbridge.org/about-questbridge/mission-a-vision.