Ashley was drawn to Rider because of its small size that presented the perfect opportunity to easily meet new people and make friends. During her first visit to Rider, Ashley recalls stepping on campus feeling nervous; however, the friendly, high-energy welcome she received left her feeling excited about her new journey. She felt safe knowing that she had found a school that not only provided the right atmosphere for her education, but also one with a warm and vibrant community.
Rider’s impact on Ashley
Though many students face difficulties in the transition to college, as a Latinx, first-generation student, Ashley has faced a distinct set of challenges in comparison to some of her peers. Therefore, developing a strong academic and social support network on campus and building connections with students who share a similar background was important to her. After joining and becoming active in Rider’s Multicultural Student Leadership Institute (MSLI), a program that supports first-year and transfer students from diverse backgrounds in their transition to college, she found her network and gained the confidence-building tools to help her overcome her unique challenges.
Additionally, having started college in the midst of a pandemic presented another layer of barriers for Ashley. In spite of her entire first-year being virtual, she still felt connected to Rider and thanks the dedicated staff and faculty who rose to the challenge to ensure students remained engaged.
Ashley is currently working as a tutor and takes part in Rider’s STEM teacher preparation program, which is designed to provide the next generation of STEM educators with the educational structure to effectively teach STEM subjects or to integrate and apply related concepts across disciplines. She is also a student employee in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
I will be pursuing a doctorate in the chemistry field after graduation and I have Rider to thank for that. Rider’s McNair Scholars Program has helped me better prepare for and educate myself about graduate school.”
Ashley Perez, Class of 2024
Ashley remains thankful for the many doors that Rider has opened for her thus far. The chemistry major already has her sights on earning an advanced degree as a result of her participation in Rider’s McNair Scholars Program. The program helps prepare underrepresented students for doctoral studies through research and scholarly activities. With the guidance of the McNair Scholars Program, Ashley is already preparing for graduate school with an ultimate goal to pursue a doctorate in the chemistry field.