Ashleigh Wethington, who finished her criminal justice degree with O’Neill in December, says if someone would have told her three years ago that she would be an award recipient she would never have believed them.
During her sophomore year, Wethington was the victim of a violent assault that resulted in extensive injuries and prolonged recovery time. She says she had to withdraw from classes that semester, a move that plunged her further into negativity and worry. But that point of view has shifted.
“Now, I am extremely thankful for the opportunities that arose from a situation I once viewed in such a negative manner,” she says. “I was able to work directly with Jim White, engage in multiple internships, and work with amazing groups of people. My education has been forever impacted by my community engagement experiences and I can only hope that my future is as bright as my past.”
Wethington is one of three O’Neill students who received the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion for the 2018-19 academic year. We spoke with Wethington about her experiences and the award.