Alumni Spotlight: Alonie Ashley

Brianna Battles
Class of 2024

For many (if not most) high school students, it's a lot to ask to have them start choosing a possible career as a teenager. Some trial and error is usually involved.  

Alonie Ashley (Oakland Catholic ’24) is not one of those students. 

“I kind of knew since a young age that I wanted to go into the medical field,” says Ashley. “I plan on specializing in radiology, because my grandfather died from pancreatic cancer, and I think radiology had a huge impact on his treatment. With radiology, you're looking at the scans and being able to detect certain things that the eye can't see.”

Ashley will be off to study Neuroscience/Pre-Med at Providence College in Rhode Island in the fall. “Since I was younger, I've always loved helping people," she says. "Medicine allows me to help people and conduct research. I really do love research.”

Through Crossroads, Ashley was able to work on a research project with a biology professor at St. Francis University. “I discovered a passion for both biology and psychology. Neuroscience is kind of a combination of both” she says.

Ashley says she met her best friend in the Crossroads program, someone from class that she hadn’t had a reason to talk to before. She also found a mentor: Board member (and WPXI anchor) Lisa Sylvester.

“She helped me figure out what to do with scholarships and financial aid,” she says. “She is more than just someone with a job to do; she's someone I can always count on. I learned that I can talk to her about anything, and we talk about more than just college now.”

One underrated benefit of Crossroads is having people to advocate for you.

“Our counselors -- or Mr. Chap (Chapman) or Dr. Ramona -- were always ready to go to the (school) office and fight for you," says Ashley. "You always had that person in your corner, if your parents were too busy with work or something.”

This support also made it easy to ask for help. Also, it's always good to know that others are in the same boat. 

“I think that Crossroads allows you to be vulnerable, which is something that I'm really grateful that I learned," says Ashley. "Through Crossroads, I was able to ask my (academic) institution so many questions that I couldn’t figure out online. I even asked them for more money, and they gave it to me.”