Government Relations Award

Established in 2001, the Government Relations Award is presented to a NACAC member who has made outstanding efforts in support of policy initiatives that promote equal access to higher education, encourage student achievement and promote counselor excellence, and further the government relations priorities of NACAC members.  

About the 2021 Winner:


Ashley Young is a College Counselor at Charles R. Drew Charter School in Atlanta, GA. She is a graduate of North Carolina State. She also received aAshley Young - Government Relations Award Master’s degree in Student Affairs Counseling from Clemson University, and in Fall 2021 she began her Doctoral journey in Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University.

Ashley has 13 years of experience in college access and the field of college admissions combined, with a particular interest in supporting under-resourced and first-generation college students.

She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling (SACAC), served as an undocumented student activist and professor at Freedom University and was recently selected as a 2021 Urban Leaders Fellow. 

Recipient of the "Counselor that Changes Lives" Award and the SACAC Myron Burney Award for Inclusion & Access, she had dedicated her life to serving others and creating equitable opportunities for all.


Previous Award Winners:

  • 2019 - Paul Welsh
  • 2018 - Breanne Boyle
  • 2017 - Sarah Summerhill
  • 2016 - Jessica Sant
  • 2015 - Grant Blume
  • 2014 - Julie Fopma
  • 2013 - Jayne Fonash
  • 2012 - Ken Anselment
  • 2011 - Bob Bardwell
  • 2010 - Craig Dodson
  • 2009 - Patrick O'Connor
  • 2008 - Jon Westover
  • 2007 - From Western ACAC: Kevin Buck, Elsa Clark, Esther Hugo, Esther Lopez, Rafael Magallan, Marc Meredith, Katy Murphy, and Loretta Whitson
  • 2006 - Allen V. Lentino  
  • 2005 - New York State ACAC
  • 2004 - Rose-Ellen Racanelli
  • 2003 - Jim Miller
  • 2002 - Frank Sachs  
  • 2001 - Braxton Rethwisch


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  • NACAC Awards

    NACAC honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the field of education, to the profession, and to our organization.

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