Ashley Desouza

Ashley DeSouza


Ashley DeSouza

“Poor kids don’t go to college.” The statement, made by a family friend, stung Ashley De Souza when she was in high school. “My parents immigrated to Framingham from Brazil. I’m a first-generation American and the first in my family to go to college,” she said.

That offhand comment put a fire in Ashley’s belly. She determined that she would push through, no matter what it took, and earn a college degree. Financial aid and scholarships made it possible for Ashley, an English major, to accomplish her goal. “Students like me wouldn’t be able to go to college without scholarships,” she said.

Scholarships also meant Ashley could get involved on campus, which she did. She served on the editorial board of Onyx, the University’s literary magazine, and as an English as a Second Language (ESL) tutor at the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA). “I also interned as a blog writer at the Career Center,” she said. “That was a lot of fun.”

“Going to Framingham State was the best decision I ever made,” she said. “I’ve been challenged—a lot—and have really grown as a person. Professors here are more than just teachers; they are also mentors.” Thanks to their encouragement, Ashley is now applying for master’s programs in creative writing; she hopes to forge a career in editing and publishing.