Ashley Mastrorilli is committed to making a difference. And, she sees teaching special education as her path to doing so.
“I want kids to know they can do it, no matter how hard they think it is,” said Ashley, ’18, who is from East Bridgewater. “They are capable.”
Ashley, 22, who is majoring in elementary education/special education with a second major in English and a minor in childhood studies, has taken advantage of the opportunities Bridgewater State University has provided her.
She is student-teaching in a third-grade classroom at the Raymond School in Brockton and has held leadership posts in the Student Education Association of Massachusetts and its BSU chapter. She has also traveled, including taking a service trip to Belize to help educate children in the Central American country.
Ashley, one of the students in the College of Education and Allied Studies being recognized during Honors Week, received the Donnelly Scholarship and the Elementary Education award. SEE THE FULL LIST OF HONOREES ATTACHED BELOW.
Ashley has always known she wanted to be a teacher and recalls spending time in a preschool where her mom worked. In fact, she chose Bridgewater State specifically because of its strong teaching program.
“They’ve definitely prepared me for the real world in education – just the classes are very up to date. They’re constantly sending us out into the field so we’re ready,” she said.
Ashley hopes to work in a social/emotional/behavioral classroom that helps students with special needs learn life skills in addition to academics. She observed special education instruction at South Shore Educational Collaborative in Hingham and was impressed with how the teacher connected with each student despite a range of disabilities.
Her Bridgewater State journey also has a special personal meaning as she is a higher education trailblazer for her family.
“It was definitely a lot of pressure in a good way now that I’m graduating,” she said of becoming the first person in her family to attend and graduate from college. “I am so proud of myself and my mom and dad are so proud.” (Story by Brian Benson; photo by John Winters, G '11, University News)