MSCS 2023 Senior Spotlights: East High School's Ashley Williams

As the MSCS 2023 graduation season begins, we are spotlighting some of our exceptional seniors. These students exemplify this year’s theme, “The Class of 2023: We Stand Out.” As they prepare to embark on their next endeavors, we celebrate their accomplishments and are inspired by their reflections and aspirations for the future. Hear more about these extraordinary scholars as they share their unique stories.


Ashley Williams is using military precision and skill to help her on her next journey: College. The East High School senior has been offered $1 million in scholarship money. But, what she’s most excited about is her National Army ROTC scholarship to her dream school. This fall, Ashley will head nearly 400 miles south to Tulane University in New Orleans. Keep reading to learn more about Ashley’s aspirations for the future.


How has the JROTC program prepared you for your future?

JROTC has prepared me for my future by developing my leadership skills beyond imagination. I have been on staff for JROTC since 10th grade and have been responsible for a multitude of things bigger than myself. I’ve had to keep records of upwards of 150 cadets, assist with award ceremonies, and prep for a panel of high ranking army veterans. This year was my most challenging year in JROTC due to the fact that I was battalion commander and over all cadets. I had to coordinate with team leaders while leading my own team (academic challenge), set a precedent for others to follow, and be left to find solutions for the good and bad in our program. My JROTC instructors did an amazing job of shaping me over these past four years. They were hands off enough to where I could grow into myself, but close enough to soften my fall. I know that the knowledge that I have gained over these past four years will be beneficial in my academic career and when I join the army reserves.


How has your high school prepared you for success? 

My high school has prepared me for success by connecting us with businesses and exposing us to opportunities in our community. We have had CEOs, workers for larger companies, and people within trades come and brief us about our possible future endeavors. It really has made a difference and has exposed me to many things within the city of Memphis.


How have the teachers at your high school helped get you where you are today? 

They have helped me accomplish my goals by sincerely making sure I understand the curriculum. My teachers go above and beyond to set aside study time, creating Kahoots and Quizlets, and setting up office hours for students to go when they need help. This is very helpful for me in subjects like math because I am not the most gifted when it comes to numbers. Their hard work shows me that they want me to succeed. When someone believes in you it’s easy to believe in yourself and it has become second nature now


Have there been any MSCS teachers/employees who have made a big impact on you? 

Ms. Lindsay McKay, Mrs. Yureka Pirtle, Mrs. Valen Warner, Mr. Daniel Warner, Mr. Michael Entrekin, Mr. Paul Vaziri, and Mr. Eugene Broadus III.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

In 10 years, I see myself as a junior partner at a law firm. I see myself happy that I accomplished what I have dreamt about since I was 8 years old and eager to teach other young girls how to chase their dreams

Ashley, MSCS wishes you the best of luck and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish next!

Memphis-Shelby County Schools offers educational and employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, creed, age, disability, national origin, or genetic information.