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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

Determined to Give Back

Ashlee Oldham was in a car accident in 2018 that required months of rehabilitation and physical therapy to relearn how to walk. At the same time, she was concerned about how she would continue to pay for her UD education.

“After the accident, I was worried whether I would be able to keep my scholarship,” said Oldham. “It’s the only reason I was able to come to UD, and I was so thankful to get a chance to attend. UD was always my top choice.”

A recipient of the Father Joseph Davis Scholarship, Oldham was reassured that her place — and her scholarship — at UD would be here for her when she was ready to return. After just one semester off, she was back and leading the way for others.

“Whatever I’m doing, big or small, I give it my all. I work hard and always try my best no matter what it is,” said Oldham. “My accident was a setback for me personally, but I did not let it stop me. I am still determined to finish the things I have set out to do despite my circumstances.”

She points to her grandmother and her mom as her inspirations for her determination and work ethic. “When we were younger, my mom stayed at home with us. She went back to school after having three kids and earned her bachelor’s and master’s in accounting.”

Following her mother’s penchant for numbers, Ashlee is a senior double majoring in finance and business economics. Her goal is to become a personal financial adviser with a special focus on helping inner-city students and families prepare financially for college, but she hasn’t waited to start giving back.

“I’m involved as a servant-leader at UD through Junior Achievement,” said Oldham. Through the program she teaches local kindergartners about finance. “At first it seemed almost silly to teach 5- and 6-year-olds about finance skills, but kids are like sponges and take in so much information. I focus on basics of financial literacy and the difference between wants and needs.”

Through the program, she hopes to make a positive, lasting impact on the kids and inspire them to make good financial decisions when they get older.

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