2020 Gen Z on the Rise: Ashleigh Janelle Stukes
Ashleigh Janelle Stukes
19, Scout Educator, Virginia Air and Space Museum, Hampton
Business and Civic Involvement:
Boy Scouts of America Member; Venturing Officer’s Association Volunteer; Girl Scouts USA Volunteer; National Youth Leadership Training Volunteer; National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience Graduate; NYLT Leadership Academy Graduate; Order of the Arrow Member; World Jamboree volunteer; Citizens’ Unity Commission Member
What are some of your career aspirations and goals?
One of my career aspirations is to work for Newport News Shipbuilding. Engineering has been my passion since I was in middle school. I eventually want to teach mechanical engineering to high school students.
How do you think the experiences of young professionals like you may be different now than 10 or 20 years ago?
The world has changed within 10 or 20 years; we have a broader variety of opportunities. I think it’s easier to communicate needs now due to the electronic advances of this generation.
What is the biggest misconception about people your age?
Many older generations believe that we don’t care enough about what we have or what we can do. They may even believe that we don’t understand the hardships of life. We might not have suffered as much, but they paved the way for us to have a better way of living; we aren’t taking it for granted.
Who or what keeps you motivated or inspires you?
My motivation comes from the smiles of all the people I meet. I teach for the kids, I succeed for my parents and I learn for myself.
Tell us about an accomplishment that you’re proud of.
The accomplishment I am most proud of was getting the SPL position at Heart of Virginia’s 2020 NYLT course. I had been fighting for that position for three years and my course director, Barry Sellars, fought for me. I am so grateful to have someone who believes in me that much.
How do you feel your industry can best respond to COVID-19?
The industry I work in is responding in the best way possible. We cancelled all of our classes and are keeping it that way to protect the children and ourselves.
What new idea or development are you excited about in Coastal Virginia?
I look forward to the events hosted in Virginia after quarantine is over. International Children’s Festival is always a blast, and I get to recruit youth into the organizations I volunteer with.
What’s your favorite spot to relax in Coastal Virginia?
Fort Monroe is my favorite spot currently; it’s the combination of a beach and a giant fort! I love all of the history embedded in the Casemate Museum.