Ashley Slater

Staff Associate II at Young Life

Sammamish, Washington

Class of 2013, Communication major

As a staff associate at Young Life, Slater is now doing for work what she had been doing in a volunteer capacity for nearly a decade. She gets paid to hangout with teenagers and teach them about Jesus, and she loves every minute of it. She has been mentoring a few girls for the last six years and recently joined the community mentoring program offered for “under-achieving” students in her area.

How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?

I left SPU knowing more about faith and what it meant to me, I became a significantly more caring and compassionate person, and I saw what it meant to be a real friend to others. I was encouraged and challenged in ways I’d never been before. My time at SPU directly connects to the work I’m doing today, because everyday I take these experiences and translate them into the lives of middle and high school students. I’m teaching them about faith and exploring with them what a relationship with Jesus looks like. I’m caring for them through the WOOs and BOOs of life. They’re my friends and we’re real with each other. SPU prepared for this job, I just didn’t know it when I was a student there.

Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?

Ineliz Soto was more than just my admissions counselor, she supported me from the very beginning — before I even chose SPU. Once I was there, Ineliz continued to support me in leadership, in work as an intern in admissions, and she showed me what it looked liked to be intentional with friends. Dr. Debbie Pope also made a huge difference in my education. She saw something in me that I didn’t and really wanted to foster it. I switched majors because of her! She pushed me to do better work, encouraged me to take risks, and genuinely cared about me.

What advice would you give to current SPU students?

Simply go for it. If you want to travel, go for it. If you want to switch jobs every year, go for it. If you want to go back to school, go for it. Don’t waste time doing things you don’t enjoy. Obviously, be smart about it, but more often than not just go for it!