We say it often, but if you talk to ASU alum and current graduate student Aly Flores, that Ram Family feel was extremely important in her college decision.
“One of my absolute core values is family,” Aly said. “I come from a close-knit family. That’s what I got whenever I first got started here – everything is family oriented. And that was the most important thing for me – feeling seen at my university.”
Raised in the small town of Hamlin, Aly initially wanted to venture farther away from home.
“I knew I wanted to go to college, but I was a late decider,” she said. “Immediately, I wanted to go far away, but my mom and I made a deal that I would go somewhere close for a year, then I could go wherever I wanted.”
“We came and took a tour,” she continued, “and I was very excited to come to a university that had a lot of the same values and morals that I did. I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else. I knew I would fit in here and that I’d find my place.”
And find her place she did. If you’ve attended one of Angelo State’s Orientation Programs in the last four years, chances are you’ve interacted with Aly.
“When I first started college, I was so shy – I didn’t really take part in student organizations,” she said. “My freshman year, they sent out an email about interviewing for orientation leaders.”
“I did it my first year, I made all the friends that I currently have, and that’s where I started to flourish and come out of my shell,” Aly continued. “I became who I feel I am meant to be.”
“Here, I feel like whoever I go to will care about me and what I have to say. I feel loved, cared for, supported and treasured. I feel like what I do matters.”
An orientation leader for a year, Aly was quickly promoted to orientation manager.
“I started off in program operations, kind of the behind-the-scenes on orientation day,” she said. “Then I moved to data initiatives, which I feel is more my kinship. I’m very data centered and I love facts – that’s where my love for higher education and enrollment management kind of developed.”
Ready to begin the student development and leadership in higher education graduate program at ASU this fall, Aly is excited for what the future holds, even if it means honing in on one particular area.
“Right now, because I’ve been exposed to so much, I just want to do it all,” she said. “But, I ultimately would like to run my own orientation program or something of that nature. I want to work with enrollment management in some aspect.”
And she credits the Ram Family for helping her come out of her shell four years ago.
“I’ve become this strong, independent female,” she said. “Here, I feel like whoever I go to will care about me and what I have to say. I feel loved, cared for, supported and treasured. I feel like what I do matters.”
“That’s the thing,” she continued, “every university has a community, but I just have this inkling that there’s nothing like this family out there.”