Ashley O’Neal will never be accused of wasting time.
The OTC student uses nearly every moment of every day either working multiple jobs, assisting in the support of an ailing father, going to school full time or being a major part of the leadership of the colleges honors society.
“My dad taught me to work hard. It will pay off,” said O’Neal, who holds a 4.0 grade point average while taking 14 hours of classes.
And her dad, Eric O’Neal, is a big part of her focus as he battles stage four rectal cancer.
“I try not to think about (the disease) a lot. He has his good days and bad days but he has a great attitude,” she said.
ONeal, vice president of promotions for PTK, plans to run for president of the chapter, but she’s has not ambition about running for political office stops there.
She’s seen all she needs to see about politics through the eyes of her grandfather former Springfield Mayor Jim O’Neal.
“I would never run for mayor after seeing what he went through,” said O’Neal, who is majoring in business.
Besides caring for her dad and carrying a full load of classes, O’Neal works in the customer service department of a local restaurant and is a tutor in the Carol Jones Writing Center at OTC.
It’s a full day for O’Neal, who keeps everything in order on her daily planner but confesses that, “I need a new one.”
Steve and Jo Fritts, faculty advisors of the colleges PTK chapter, are impressed by O’Neal’s work and study ethic.
“Ashley is truly an amazing young lady. She is an inspiration,” Steve Fritts said.
Jo Fritts said O’Neal enjoys life.
“She always has a smile at the ready. She has this amazing ability of taking a negative situation and just through her ability to see the possibilities she can turn it into a positive one. Her leadership skills are wonderful and I know that she will be successful in life,” Jo Fritts said.
While she is making As in her classes at OTC its the lessons ONeal is spending time learning now that she holds dearest.
“I learn everything from Dad. He taught me to treat people like a human being,” O’Neal said.
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