Ashley Kirk found her path to an enjoyable career at Richard Bland College of William & Mary, more than two thousand miles from her hometown.

“I originally grew up in a rural region in Montana and moved to Virginia four years ago,” explains Kirk, who is a member of the RBC Class of ’19. “I was no longer horseback riding whenever I wanted to, and I no longer had vast mountains surrounding my home.”

As Kirk adjusted to life in Dinwiddie County, the transplant soon set her sights on the College of William & Mary. She seized the opportunity to attend Richard Bland College to gain the connection to W&M, and have an affordable college experience.

“This college does an amazing job exposing me to so many rewarding experiences and opportunities,” says Kirk. “I am a member of the Honors Program which connects me to students like myself who want to pursue a higher level of academics. Furthermore, I am in the Bridge Program that allows me to take classes at William & Mary and experience its culture before transferring there.”

Outside of the classroom, Kirk offers food, water and comfort during emergencies as a support member of the Dinwiddie fire department. Kirk also learned more about managing her time with involvement in the RBC Book Club and American Sign Language Club.

“These opportunities taught me to be more social. The RBC environment allows students from different backgrounds to connect very easily. This college helped me overcome my social awkwardness and let my personality flourish.”

After exploring options through those extra-curricular activities and electives, Kirk decided to pursue forensic psychology. She credits RBC Professor of Psychology Dr. Barbara Morgan for developing her passion for learning why people think in a particular way. Kirk also thanks the entire RBC staff for encouraging students to take ample time to choose a major.

“As I plan to transfer to William & Mary after graduating RBC in May, I will always remember Richard Bland College for developing me into who I am today.”

Ashley Kirk is a member of the Richard Bland College of William & Mary Class of 2019.