When first-year student Ashley Koos launches her undergraduate career at St. Ambrose University this fall, she intends to embrace every opportunity.
Ashley's goal is to do more, be more, and impact more.
That drive is one reason Ashley was recognized as an Ambrose Scholar, an honor that includes a full-tuition scholarship.
The scholarship was awarded based on her academic achievement and an essay she wrote about her school and community involvement, leadership, and desire to grow alongside her peers at SAU.
Koos, a 4.0 student, graduated this spring from Marquette Catholic High School in Bellevue, Iowa, where she served as class president from 2014-17 and student body president her senior year.
She performed in school plays and musicals, was active in National Honor Society, and was widely recognized for her athletic abilities in softball, basketball, cross country, and track and field.
In addition to being active in her parish and youth group, Ashley took part in service trips, Relay for Life fundraisers, Make A Difference Day, and served as a Eucharistic Minister.
She worked all four years of high school and had two jobs the last two years.
That's a heavy load, but Ashley pulled a lesson from each role she played. "It is the skills I gained through these responsibilities and other extracurricular activities that will allow me to make a positive impact at St. Ambrose," she said.
As student body president, Ashley led the Student Council to engage fellow students, plan events, and organize fundraisers. "These responsibilities have provided me the social and professional skills needed to promote positive activities for college students," she said
Through her involvement in her parish and youth group, she deepened her passion for serving others and participated in additional faith opportunities, including the National Catholic Youth Conference and a service trip in Illinois.
Her participation in high school athletics taught her time management skills, and how to balance academics with extracurricular activities.
"All of my involvement showed me I can do anything that I put my mind to. When you have energy and passion, and you work for something, it will come," she said. "If you are willing to put yourself out there and take risks, they will pay off."
Ready to Make An Impact
First-year student Ashley Koos will join SAU this fall as an Ambrose Scholar, a recognition that includes a full tuition scholarship. She plans to get involved and make a positive impact on her peers through Campus ministry and other student activities.
Ashley wants to become a doctor and plans to major in biology, which is one of the pre-professional programs SAU offers to prepare students for medical school. She is looking forward to working on research projects with biology professors and making a contribution to the field. "I've always been interested in the sciences and one of our family friends is a doctor," she said. "He was very inspiring to me from a young age."
In addition to academics, Koos plans to become involved in Campus Ministry, student organizations such as Doctors to Bee, and activities including Dance Marathon. She said her high school held an annual Dance Marathon to assist children and their families with medical expenses and it is a cause that she continues to holds close.
Ashley toured several colleges and chose SAU because wanted a more personal education and one-on-one time with professors. "I like the small-school atmosphere," she said.
Ashley also wanted to go away to college, yet be close enough to visit family. On campus, she is about an hour from home. "The size and location of St. Ambrose was a good fit," she said. "I also wanted to attend a Catholic university so I can continue to enrich my faith," she said.
Ashley knows that getting involved will expand her Ambrosian experience and education far beyond the classroom.
"I am looking forward to the new opportunities SAU offers me, including new courses, professors, friendships, memories, and the extra-curricular activities I plan to participate in starting this fall," she said.