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Ashley Hong

Hometown: Portland, Oregon
High School: Westview High School
Intended Major: Honors Sociology Major, Honors Black Studies Minor, Educational Studies Course Minor
Possible Career: Educational policy researcher, sociology professor 

5 Words: Curious, reliable, conscientious, bubbly, studious

What impact do you want to have on the world?

I want to make higher education more accessible to low-income students by studying how class mobility and social capital interact before, during, and after students' college experiences.  

Name a person you admire.

My aunt, Young Hee. She always gives without expecting anything in return, assumes the best in everyone, and loves unconditionally. Once in the fourth grade, I missed the morning school bus and anxiously called her to ask how to tell my parents that I slept through my alarm and had no way of getting to class. Without asking any questions she got out of bed, drove through heavy traffic, took me out for breakfast, and dropped me off at school herself. My aunt continually teaches me the significance of hard work, rolling with the punches, and practicing self gratitude and forgiveness.

What is something you are proud of in your life so far?

I'm proud of attending college. It is something only a few members of my family have achieved, and I am grateful that the Philip Evans grant has provided me with the support and resources to grow as a a student, activist, and researcher at Swarthmore. 

What have been the most valuable Evans Scholars program experiences for you?

The summer after my freshman year, I used the Evans grant to fund a 6-week women's health volunteer trip to Swedru, Ghana. The summer after my sophomore year, I used the Evans grant to support me as I conducted sociological research at the University of Pennsylvania. The Evans scholarship has given me a sense of agency over my education and opportunities, which have affirmed my interest in continuing my education in sociology with a concentration in race and higher education. 

What was the most transformative class you have taken and/or what subjects do you want to explore deeply?

Introduction to Race and Ethnicity with Professor Nina Johnson. Not only did this course pave my academic journey in Sociology, but also flipped my world upside down by giving me the space to critically assess everyday encounters through the lens of racialized social structures. Although we live in social structures stratified by race and class (and others), work is always occurring on the margins! In the future, I hope to more deeply explore the intersections of social stratification, higher education, race, class, and mobility.