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Ashley Brooks Profile

Ashley Brooks' Civic Engagement Experience


Ashley Brooks Civic Engagement

"Classes only give the tools but participating in an academic enrichment opportunity gives you the experience, one of which I will never stop being thankful for."



Your Name: Ashely Brooks

Your Major (s): Business Management

Your Minor (s): Nonprofit Administration

Faculty Advisor: Andrea Vernon

How did you get connected with this academic enrichment opportunity and was there someone who helped you get involved with this opportunity?
When I first came to the university I knew I wanted to be apart of a service and civic engagement organization, so I looked at the Office of Civic Engagement webpage to see if there were organizations I would like to be apart of. After seeing a few I thought I would like I called the director of the office to find out more. It is really important to be actively engaged with seeking out involvement opportunities rather then just waiting for someone to approach you.

What was the most rewarding part of this experience?
I always say I gained more out of my experience as president of NLSA then my members did from my leadership. It was one thing to be president of a high school organization but it was a whole other ball game being president of a college organization. The experience brought many things like: learning how to overcome certain challenges, networking opportunities, a chance to see my strengths and weaknesses, and getting exposed to real life situations that might present themselves in my future career. I highly recommend more students take on a leadership role in their organizations because it’s a chance to discover and practice their leadership skills.

What surprised you during this experience?
What surprised me most about my experience was the level of involvement it took. While there was guidance from the NLSA advisor, my level of participation was extraordinary high. It was mostly this way because I was told that what I would get out of the experience would ONLY be what I was going to put into it, and I wanted to get the most out of it that I could.

What doors did participation in this experience open for you?
Since my participation with NLSA I have meet multiple executive directors from numerous nonprofits around town. I am now the intern for the Missoula Nonprofit Network, an organization that NLSA was deeply involved with.

How has participating in this academic enrichment experience affected you as a person and as a student?
My experience as president has taught me more about my abilities and myself then I was ever expecting to at that time. I have learned what I excel at and what I need to work on. I learned what areas I need to be patient in and what areas need immediate direction. I learned the level I can do things on my own and the level I need to ask for help. It was incredible the amount I learned about myself in such a short period of time. I couldn’t be more thankful for the experience because I know how applicable it will be to my future career.

Do you have a one-sentence expression or description of what participating in this experience means to you?
Classes only give the tools but participating in an academic enrichment opportunity gives you the experience, one of which I will never stop being thankful for.

What advice would you give incoming students about getting involved in something similar?
Take on any civic engagement opportunity you can. The smallest impact from YOU makes a huge difference to the community; don’t underestimate the ability you have.