My Story: Ashley Fluegel

Posted on Oct 18, 2017


I was a typical overachieving Honors student at Belvidere North High School when I learned about the Running Start program at RVC. In high school I was labeled a quiet, smart, and shy student. I was in band and choir, and participated in musicals and marching band. I never spoke up during class, and I quietly got my homework done before school was over and had a very small group of two friends and my twin sister.

Rock Valley College changed how I saw myself–instead of feeling incapable of speaking up in class, I was treated as someone who had something important to say.

Whereas before I felt almost invisible, my professors and classmates at Rock Valley, as well as my school counselor, all encouraged me to form my own opinions and to share them. I realized that I did have a lot to say, and that I could influence the learning of my classmates with my words. I also began to feel more confident in reaching out and talking with my peers. I worked in study groups and met other Running Start members who I had sat next to in classes in high school but never spoken a word to.

If it hadn’t been for this college environment of acceptance and teamwork, I never would have expanded my friend group and gotten to know so many incredible people.

The school counselor I had was very involved and invited us to come to her office anytime to talk about our day. She suggested I take Psychology, and I loved it so much it became my major.

Ashley accompanied by her siblings at her Utah State University graduation.

I have now graduated in Psychology at Utah State University and am currently in the Masters program for School Counseling there. I work at a middle school mentoring students and running programs to increase achievement and values in the school. The confidence in speaking up that I developed while at Rock Valley helped me succeed serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when I was 19, speaking to strangers every day and sharing articulately what I believed.

Compared to the “quiet” and “shy” student I had been before, I have now let myself grow into someone who can express themselves without fear, and without hesitation. If I had not gone to RVC and graduated with my Associates, I would definitely not be the confident and happy person I am today. Rock Valley College provided an environment of personal and educational growth, and helped me find my voice.


Has Rock Valley College touched YOUR life in some way? We want to hear about it. We would love for your story to be shared with others on our blog, website, and social media.

Perhaps RVC turned your life around or led to a new and exciting career. Maybe it introduced you to new concepts, new ways of thinking, or maybe even to new friends you will now have for life. It doesn’t even have to be your story. Did RVC change the life of your son, daughter, mother, sister, cousin? Tell us about it.

 Share your Rock Valley College story with us.
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