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Hard-working UHV student to get a breather after graduation

By KBell
May 11, 2011 at 12:11 a.m.

Ashleigh Kellis-Carr will soon receive a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Houston-Victoria. The 22-year-old senior at one time held four different jobs while pursuing her education. After this spring's graduation, Kellis-Carr will continue on at UHV to pursue a master's degree in student affairs.

For the first time in eight years, Ashleigh Kellis-Carr will have a summer vacation.

The 22-year-old psychology major will graduate from the University of Houston-Victoria on Saturday, a day that will mark the end of many sunny days spent studying.

"I don't have anything planned. I just know I don't have any schoolwork," Kellis-Carr said of her impending break.

Throughout her college career, Kellis-Carr has held down as many as four jobs at one time, including gigs at daycares, camps, restaurants and fast food joints. All the while, the fast-talking busy bee has been enrolled as a full-time student and summer student.

"I like staying busy," Kellis-Carr said. "Some people are like, 'oh I still have two tests this week.' I'm like, 'shoot, I only have two tests this week.'"

And as if work and school weren't enough, Kellis-Carr decided to throw student organizations into her senior year. The blooming student life at UHV provided the perfect opportunities for her, she said.

She's now a resident assistant at Jaguar Hall, and she has volunteered for several events as part of student senate.

"I wasn't really active until the end of my junior year because when I came over to UHV, everything was online," she said.

But it didn't take long for the bubbly young woman to become a familiar face around UHV. She said the college experience she's been able to have with the new students on campus has been so rewarding, she doesn't want it to end.

"Student life and services is fun. I love being an RA, so I thought, 'yeah, that's what I want to do."

Kellis-Carr will be returning to UHV in the fall to pursue her masters degree in student affairs. She's also applying to be the resident director at Jaguar Hall.

The jam-packed schedule is nothing out of the ordinary for Kellis-Carr, who said her mom always pushed her to work hard in school.

For Kellis-Carr, that meant holding down jobs so she could pay for her first two years at Victoria College out-of-pocket.

"I was overly strict, I'm sure. But she's just a really responsible, sort of just a good kid," her mom, Deborah Kellis said.

As a single mother pushing her three kids to do well, Kellis said her oldest daughter has provided a good example to her siblings.

"I'm just proud of everything she does," Kellis said. "She's accomplished so much, and she worked so hard."

Kellis said she never worried her daughter was taking on too much because Kellis-Carr has always been so responsible and organized.

But Kellis-Carr knew she had overbooked her schedule this year, when her RA responsibilities began to threaten her schoolwork.

She had to quit one of her three jobs, she said.

"Honestly, I really had no life before. I just did my schoolwork and work," Kellis-Carr said. "Once we got people at the school, it kind of sucked because I couldn't do anything with them. Having a lot of jobs during school works when there's nobody here."

Kellis-Carr showed off pictures of the aftermath of pranks between her and her residents: plastic wrap covering her door and her face covered in cake.

She may miss the students when they leave for summer break, but Kellis-Carr said she's looking forward to graduating and enjoying a simple, relaxing summer.

I'll "just hang out with my friends and watch TV," she said. "I know that doesn't sound interesting, but when you don't get to do it that much, it's fun."



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