Ashley Murphy

Ashley Murphy is determined to teach at-risk children after graduation

Ashley sees herself graduating from Iowa State University and sticking close to her hometown, Ames, Iowa, by hopefully working in Des Moines at Head Start with preschoolers. Working at Head Start would fulfill Ashley’s passion of helping at-risk children from a young age.

“I just want to be the one to show them at a young age that they do have the potential to succeed,” she said.

Ashley stressed how many students in this type of situation attend schools that do not have the resources needed to help them succeed in the necessary ways. Due to this, Ashley is determined to make a difference by focusing on them in her teaching career.

“I want to be the teacher that helps children believe in themselves and their capabilities, even if those capabilities are not necessarily related to school,” she said.

Ashley hopes to give these children stability in the classroom which they are lacking in their home environments by implementing routines that keep them active and involved. She will also make sure to promote positivity in the classroom, focusing on respectful manners.

Thanks to her different classes Ashley feels aware of the varying perspectives of different individuals and the importance these perspectives serve in how to help each student properly.

“My classes cover how to reach the children,” she said. “Rather than just teaching them curriculum, we are shown how to best effectively get them involved.”

When Ashley volunteered through the ISU 4U Promise program by helping at a literacy night, she got the opportunity to speak with several individuals about their experiences helping at-risk children through other volunteer options.

Ashley hopes to expand her volunteer opportunities with at-risk kids during her undergraduate years and wants to encourage other students to as well.

“Volunteer in different places,” she said. “There are a lot of opportunities in Des Moines that are paired with Iowa State. Volunteering is a good way to find out if [working with at-risk children] is for you.”