Gallaudet’s Ashmore awarded with NEAC Inspirational Award
Born hard of hearing and growing up with English as a second language, she exhibited perseverance, dedication and independence.
As a young girl in elementary and middle school, she did not use an interpreter and relied on hearing aids to follow the teacher’s instructions.
That no-fear attitude eventually led her to Gallaudet University, the world’s only university designed for deaf and hard of hearing students.
Ashmore, of West Valley High fame, is a two-sport athlete in basketball and track and field for the NCAA D3 school in Washington, D.C.
Each year, the NEAC honors student-athletes that have endured personal hardships leading to bravery or dedication within athletics through participation, volunteerism, coaching or administration.
Ashmore is one of five student-athletes to receive a NEAC Inspirational Award this year.
After learning about Gallaudet University from her interpreter in high school, Ashmore set her sights on playing basketball for the Bison and traveled cross country in the spring of 2013 on her own to visit campus.
Suffering an academic setback in her freshman year, Ashmore stepped away from the court and turned her focus to the classroom. She never lost sight of the court and returned last season, when the junior forward averaged 5.2 points in 25 games.
Ashmore also competes as a sprinter on the women’s track and field team at Gallaudet.
“Lawjen not only believes in herself, but she believes in other people,” Gallaudet University administrator Anna Hall told the school’s website. “She is always volunteering her free time to helping others and she is already keeping her team motivated for the upcoming season.
“Lawjen is an amazing person that inspires us all to be better people. She works hard and enjoys every moment.”