Black is Gold Women in Leadership Honoree: Kennedy Ashford 

Taylor Hawkins | Staff Writer

The Hampton University chapter of Black is Gold University, a nationwide organization dedicated to the personal and professional lives of Black collegiate women, is honoring women on HU’s campus in celebration of Women’s History Month. Among those nominated is Kennedy Ashford, a first-year computer science major.

“It is an honor for me to have been chosen as one of the women being honored,” Ashford said. “Receiving recognition from my peers, assured me that all of my work doesn’t go to waste.”

Ashford is involved in multiple organizations and clubs on campus and said she strives to accomplish her goals while working towards a better future. She serves as the freshman class vice president, a Golden Girl in Black is Gold University and is a Women in Computing Club member.

“My motivation to get involved on campus stems from wanting to be somebody after graduating from Hampton University,” Ashford said. “I see these clubs and organizations as a part of my future and I have gained valuable relationships while also working toward my goals.”

Ashford began developing leadership skills at a young age.

“When I was a kid, I had a lot of strong opinions and sometimes got in trouble for talking too much. As I matured, I learned how to change the way I talked to be a better leader,” she said.

To Ashford, being a leader means having a set of morals and ethics while also accepting advice from others whether or not the opinions align. By using her strong leadership skills, Ashford serves her community to encourage other students to use the resources that are given to them by the university to guarantee a future for themselves.

“In my experience, students listen to their peers more than adults about information that can potentially change their lives for the better,” Ashford said.

By holding these leadership positions, she hopes to inspire many women on campus who are nervous about putting themselves out there.

“Several women on campus inspire me, and I strive to be like them,” said Ashford. “As someone who is also nervous, my own experience has taught me that we must first believe in ourselves. Walk into every room with your head held high and go after your goals!” 

Ashford has one piece of advice for women on campus who want to be in leadership.

“If I had any advice for women on campus, it would be to not be afraid,” she said. “There will always be something negative and positive said about you, but as long as you know you are giving it your all, you will be fine. It’s not worth it to follow the crowd, as you may never learn to grow.”

Black is Gold University will be honoring women for the entire month of March and hosting a dinner ceremony on March 20 to shine a light on the Women in Leadership honorees.

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