Leadership lived: Student founds one organization, heads another
Ashley Scott is leading by example at the University of Illinois Springfield. The senior criminal justice major founded the Legacy Dance Team and now serves as president of the Black Student Union (BSU).
“I feel like UIS has taught me so much that I can give (back) to other students,” said Scott. “I’m planning on going into higher education because there was a point in time where I wish I would have had someone to help me out. It’s just being that voice for them.”
In her BSU leadership role, Scott mentors African American students of all ages and helps to resolve any issues they may face on campus.
“We just try and help our African American students, whether they’re freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, fifth year, graduates, basically getting them educated, uplifted, and empowered to make sure they get across the stage,” said Scott.
As a freshman, Scott founded the Legacy Dance Team, a hip hop culture dance team, which now performs at campus events ranging from homecoming to basketball games.
“I’m pretty proud of it. That’s an organization that’s guaranteed to be around for a long time,” said Scott.
Scott says her criminal justice classes have made her realize “you can’t be afraid to take a chance”, which has influenced her philosophy as a leader.
“You have to think before you act,” said Scott.
She also recognizes the role of mentors she’s had on campus, such as Dr. Clarice Ford, director of the UIS Diversity Center and BSU adviser.
“She’s taught me that we have a voice and you have to talk,” said Scott. “You can’t always sit in the background because sitting in the background will get nothing accomplished.”
In addition to her roles with the Legacy Dance team and BSU, Scott serves as the performance coordinator for the Student Activities Committee (SAC).
Following graduation, Scott plans to continue her education and eventually pursue a career in Student Affairs at a university, such as UIS.