Ashley Moates is a junior studying communication disorders for speech pathology from Smithville, Georgia. She has been involved in the Auburn University Singers as vice president, the All for Auburn Freshman Leadership Program as assistant director and several honors societies on campus. Through her experience with All for Auburn FLP, the director and Moates decided to continue working to promote inclusion on Auburn’s campus by founding All for Inclusion, an organization for which Moates now serves as president.
What in your time at Auburn made you want to run for Miss Auburn?
By serving as a member and later the assistant director of the FLP that carried out Miss Auburn’s platform, I saw the impact Miss Auburn could have on campus. I also got to know the past Miss Auburns and really looked up to them. I loved seeing their passion for the university and their platform.
In addition, I just love Auburn and wanted to serve. I came to Auburn University from out of state and was the only student to come from my high school, but Auburn me with open arms. I have found the most wonderful community and have grown and learned so much during my time here. My time at Auburn has given me a love and a passion for this university, which made me want to give back to it in whatever way I can.
What does it mean to you to be Miss Auburn?
Words cannot express what it means to me to be Miss Auburn. The purpose of Miss Auburn is to serve as the official hostess of Auburn University. She is a female ambassador, representing the university internally to the student body and also externally to the outside community, alumni, and prospective students. I was (and still am!) truly humbled to be selected by the student body for this position. It is a huge honor to have the opportunity to represent a place I love so much, and it means so much to me that my peers believed in me and thought I could do it well. I could never put into words how much this honor means to me.
My platform comes from my intense passion for people with disabilities that I have had for almost 20 years now, ever since my younger sister, Anna, was born with Down syndrome. My platform, AUsome Dreams, is one that focuses on making Auburn-related dreams come true for people with disabilities. Whether it’s leading a cheer with the Auburn University Cheerleading team at a basketball game, riding a horse alongside an Auburn Equestrian team member or singing and dancing with the Auburn University Singers, my goal is to make their Auburn dream come true. This also contributes to my goal of promoting awareness of people with disabilities by having them on campus more and increasing interactions with them. I want students to realize that people with disabilities are more like you and me than we realize, and that their disability is only a characteristic of who they are, not a definition. My end goal with my platform is to begin researching how to develop a collegiate program right here at Auburn University that people with disabilities could apply to that would be specifically geared to their abilities and aiding them to continue learning, while giving them a college experience like we have all been blessed with. My dream is that my intelligent, beautiful, talented, sassy sister Anna, and many others just like her, would one day have the opportunity to achieve their ultimate Auburn dream- to become Auburn University students.
We have already been able to make 2 AUsome Dreams come true- one for Drew who is 21 years old and loves tennis! He was able to meet and participate in a practice with the Auburn University Men’s tennis team! It was such an amazing experience. Also, we made one come true for Anna, my younger sister who loves tosing and dance. She was able to go onstage and perform with the Auburn University Singers. She said it was one of the best days of her life and something she would remember forever. I know that some perceptions were changed those days when Anna and Drew were able to show those groups how able and talented they are and how they have goals and dreams and passions just like you and I do. I can’t wait to make more AUsome Dreams come true!
My prayer is that God would use me to make a positive, lasting impact on Auburn’s campus. I hope to lead by example and daily live out the Auburn Creed. My favorite line is, “I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.” I hope to lead not just by serving this incredible university, but by serving the wonderful family in it.
Where’s your favorite spot on campus?
The icee machine in the student center where I go to get my daily Coke icee.
What are your hopes for after graduation?
I plan to go to graduate school for speech language pathology to get my master’s degree so that I can help those that do not have the ability to communicate clearly.
Written by Hayley Wright
Last modified: 03/29/2017