Ashish Bhakta is the winner of the 2010-2011 Stacy Willis Memorial Scholarship. Ashish was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He attended public schools and graduated from Hall High School in 1998 with aspirations of becoming a medical doctor.
He says, â€śDuring my undergraduate experience at UALR, I came to the realization that I would rather prevent illness instead of treating it, so I changed my major to Health Sciences with an emphasis in Community Health Promotions.â€ť This shift empowered Ashish to intertwine all of his passions: teaching, networking and advocacy. Ashish earned his undergraduate degree in 2005.
Ashish is currently pursuing his masterâ€™s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at UALR, which he anticipates completing in December 2010. Post graduation, he plans to pursue his Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) designation and would like to obtain employment with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services.
Additionally, based on Ashishâ€™s continued passion for learning, he is also contemplating pursuing a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Education. Ashish has volunteered at Arkansas Childrenâ€™s Hospital and was instrumental in starting a Disability Interest Group (DIG) on the UALR campus.
The purpose of DIG is to give students, staff and faculty a chance to come together in an informal manner and openly discuss dynamics of disability and campus life.
Although Ashish did not attend medical school, he says, â€śThe evolution of my academic career has led me to a field of work that will empower me with many professional opportunities and experiences to make a real difference in the lives of manyâ€ť. Ashish says, â€śThis scholarship is a great gift, and it will enable me to complete the last leg of my academic journey.â€ť
The purpose of the Stacy Willis Endowed Scholarship is to fund scholarships for students with disabilities at UALR. It is named for a remarkable young woman who attended UALR, and who made an impact on everyone she met.
Applications for this scholarship are accepted every spring for the following academic year. For more information, visit the DRC website (ualr.edu/disability) any time.