Student Making a Difference: Ashley Rodriguez Reflects On Successes & Disappointments Amid Pandemic

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When we met Ashley Rodriguez back in November, her senior year at Hialeah Senior High School was in its beginning stages, albeit on a strong foundation.

Ashley has already earned straight A’s for three years with an academically rigorous schedule. She’s president of Key Club and DECA and captain of the golf team, so the impression was already made.

“She’s incredible, I always tell her, I don’t know how you do it,” college advisor Christina Orfely told us in November. “She's definitely at the top, one of the best I’ve seen in my career.”

When we caught up to Ashley this week via FaceTime, I asked her if she had any regrets about her four years at Hialeah High. 

“I got into my dream school that I worked really hard to get into, I became a Posse scholar, I stayed top 5% of my class, so all of that together made high school what I wanted from it,” Ashley said. 

“I know you’re disappointed about how your senior year ended up, but what are you thinking now that you’ve had time to reflect on it?” I asked. 

“That’s been really disappointing, I’ve worked really hard for my last four years of high school and I was really excited for graduation and prom, but again, the universe knows what it’s doing, it’s kind of my model, it’s what’s keeping me up and everything happens for a reason,” Ashley said. 

A full scholarship to Syracuse University is quite an achievement for a student who spent every day after school in charge of her four younger siblings while her parents worked. 

Ashley is also frank about her battles with anxiety issues.

“Life hands you cards that you have to deal with and we just have to remind ourselves that although we’ve been put in these obstacles, nothing in itself is impossible,” said Ashley in November. 

“I hope to be leaving a legacy that anyone can do it, that even if you’re not number one in your class or you’re not the brightest kid, with hard work and dedication you can get to where you want to be,” Ashley said. 

So where does she want to be someday? Working at the State Department as a diplomat. Ashley has the work ethic and don’t be fooled by her humble nature, she has the brilliance to get there. 

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