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I Will Not Let MS Stand in the Way of My Dreams

April 2, 2024 | Life with MS, Scholarships, Study

We are proud to introduce you to Ashley, one of our 2024 Dorothy L Newman Scholarship recipients. With the support of this scholarship, Ashley will be studying towards a Bachelor of Arts (Education) at Massey University. Good luck Ashley, we can’t wait to see you shine.

If you are interested in learning more about the scholarships we offer, you can read more here:

Hi, I’m Ashley and I’m 23 years old. I have a massive passion for kids and helping and encouraging them to reach their fullest potential, I have been dancing from the age of 3 years and started teaching my own dance classes at age of 14. I love watching kids’ eyes sparkle with pride when they achieve goals –  makes my heart full and warm.

Before diagnosis, I worked in the Greek Islands working and performing in 5-star hotels. During the day we would run activities such as water polo, darts, table tennis, aqua gym, archery, zumba, quiz and bingo nights, beach volleyball and many other activities. In the evening, we would put on shows dancing, singing and comedy shows.

I came home to New Zealand in 2020 during the pandemic. It was then I fell ill and was rushed to hospital. After spending 3 days scared for my life in ICU unable to feel my legs, I was then diagnosed with MS. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to return to my dream job in Greece caused me a great deal of sadness.

After quite literally finding my feet again, I am now able to manage my symptoms enough to be teaching while sharing my love of dance with those at Levin The Movement Dance Studio. I started volunteering at my old primary school and found I could help nurture young minds in other ways. It is here I knew I wanted to become a teacher and my journey to study began. I chose Massey as it is close to home.

I cannot wait to have my own classroom to create a space where children feel safe and welcomed to unconditionally be themselves. I want to encourage and support as many children I can to reach their fullest potential.

I will not let MS stand in the way of my dreams to have my own classroom.