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In This Issue

       

Scholarship eases financial stress for single-mother Ashley Renshaw

Ashley Renshaw
As a dental hygiene major, junior Ashley Renshaw learns on the job in the Delta Dental of Kansas clinic at Wichita State. She’s shown here in a work station supported by Junetta and Vic Everett. Junetta Everett also endowed the scholarship Renshaw receives.

Ashley Renshaw works hard. She’s a full-time student at Wichita State University pursuing a dental hygiene degree, works at least 20 hours a week for a bank in Newton and, with the help of family, raises an 8-year-old daughter as a single mother.

It’s for her daughter, Alyssa, that she remains committed and determined to get a college degree.

“I’m a very independent person and very work-oriented,” Renshaw says. “I want to be able to take care of my daughter on my own, and have a career that allows me to provide for a family.”

Only the second person in her family to attend college — her oldest brother has earned a master’s degree while serving in the U.S. Air Force — Renshaw relies on scholarships and financial aid to afford her education. She is the recipient of the Junetta M. French Everett Junetta Everett Scholarship, endowed in 2014 by Everett, vice president of professional relations at Delta Dental of Kansas. Everett received her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from Wichita State in 1979.

Now completing her junior year, Renshaw expects to graduate in the spring of 2017 and hopes to start a career in a private practice. She’s relieved that she won’t have a heavy student loan burden upon graduation.

“The financial aid I receive has been so helpful,” she said. “Even though I work, it’s been tough financially to pay my bills and take care of a child. I’m very grateful for the scholarships and the financial aid I receive.”

Here's a closer look at Ashley Renshaw:

 

Academically focused: Renshaw is deservedly proud of her grade-point average, which hovers around 4.0. “I’ve always done pretty well in school. I also have great teachers here, and that means a lot to me.” She got accepted into WSU’s highly competitive dental hygiene program on her first try.

Motherhood: Renshaw, 25, didn’t plan to be a teenage mother, but with the help of her own mother, her grandmother and her siblings, she weathered the challenge and now just wants to be a good role model for her young daughter.

Dental hygiene: She became interested in the dental profession several years ago while working as a certified nurse assistant for a nursing home in Newton, her hometown. “I saw many patients who were dealing with issues related to dental neglect. That got me interested in a possible career in the field.”

Spare time: Between work, school and family, Renshaw doesn’t have too much free time. But she is passionate about singing and painting. She sings with a church group when she can and paints primarily in acrylics, honing her skill with the hope of someday being able to sell some of her work.