Young women are beginning to retell their stories throughout the world with personal achievement. And in doing so, they inspire others to believe that there’s no limitation to what women can become if only one could dream and work. Ashley Williams, who bagged a Master’s Degree and a Law Degree in the same week from two separate universities, in two separate states.
Williams, who began her Master’s program at the George Washington University, Washington D.C, in 2015, received the degree in Political Management on 18th May 2019. And all the while working for the State Department as Special Advisor and Director of Special Project.
She would also receive her JD on 20th May from the University of Pennsylvania, two days later, note it wasn’t a dual degree program.
Speaking in an interview with 'Because of Them We Can', Ashley said she was really interested in beginning a program that would allow her to build upon her undergraduate degree, love for politics, and to continue working as well.
“I knew I needed to grow. The Political Management degree at GW was perfect,” she continued.
However, she was able to attend the program online with the option to attend classes in person when her schedule permitted. Williams saw it as the perfect opportunity and took advantage of the virtual option. She would later apply to pursue a lifelong dream and was accepted into the University of Pennsylvania.
“That fall I also applied to law school, which had been a part of my plan since high school. Both of my parents are lawyers, and I admired them and wanted to follow in their footsteps.”
Reminiscing on her law school journey, she said it wasn’t easy. “I faced rejection from schools during two separate admission cycles—Once while I was working at the White House and once while I was the State Department, but I was determined to go.” It was not until January 2016 that she received a favorable letter from University of Pennsylvania, and started in the fall of 2016, one year after beginning her Master’s program.
“A lot of people wondered why I continued with my Master’s after starting law school, but both stimulated me in different ways. I was incredibly fortunate to be able to do both, but it did require sacrifice and discipline.”
Nevertheless, she would have to readjust her schedule and priorities, continually, to find a balance between being in both programs.
“During my first year of school, I stopped my Master’s program so I could focus on law full time. "The summer following my first year, I resumed my Master’s program and simultaneously law and my Master’s until I completed my Master’s in December 2018, which I did while I was studying abroad in Tokyo,” she said.
Williams was in Tokyo for three months where she was focused on the Japanese Supreme Court. She would complete her JD requirements five months later in May 2019.
The young black woman who attended Georgetown for undergrad, said that she hopes her story becomes an inspiration and a source of encouragement to others, in pursuit of dreams; that they should stop limiting themselves and strive to accomplish their goals.
“No matter what, never give up and never feel like you aren’t enough. I hope my story inspires others to keep striving and remember that all our possibilities are endless,”.