Ashely Cichocki grew up in Rossford, Ohio. When she was in high school, she made a decision that would greatly influence her college experience. She decided to take post secondary option classes at Owens Community College.
As a junior, she started taking two classes a semester at Owens. She thought two classes would be plenty since she was still fairly young.
"As a younger student, I was concerned about being intimidated by the older kids. As it turned out, I liked the small classes and the close, community feel at Owens," remembers Cichocki.
Those classes worked out so well that for her senior year, she decided to increase her class load to four classes per semester.
Cichocki graduated from Rossford High School in 2006 in the top ten percent of her class and enrolled at Owens full-time as a pre-business transfer student.
During her time at Owens, she was a student worker in the Marketing and Communications department and worked at The Toledo Zoo in the gift shop. She also coached volleyball and maintained an excellent GPA.
Cichocki received two scholarships to help off-set the tuition at Owens. One of those scholarships was the Alumni Legacy Endowed scholarship, a scholarship given to students who have a parent who has attended Owens and is a member of the Alumni Association.
In fact, for Cichocki, attending Owens is almost a family tradition. Her mother, stepfather and sister all attended Owens.
"My mom was the greatest influence on me. She attended Owens in her 30s with two kids and as a single mom. She got her degree and I think that is amazing," said Cichocki.
This fall, Cichocki will be transferring to The University of Toledo to finish her degree. All of her credits will transfer toward her professional sales major. She hopes to be a student worker there as well.
Before she even turns 21, she will graduate with a four-year degree after only three years enrolled full-time in college and at a fraction of the cost. Cichocki hopes to get her masters degree and pursue a career in pharmaceutical sales after she graduates.
"I highly recommend Owens to high school students," Cichocki says. "It's a great place to start your education."