Staff Spotlight: Ashley Delehunt

Director of Student Services


Ashley is a true adventurer at her core. She has worked for Winterline as a Field Advisor for the 2016-17 Global Skills Program. In her current role as Director of Student Services, she works closely with all students and families in preparation for the year and providing on-going support throughout the program. When outside of the office, Ashley is likely to be on a multi-day excursion rafting, biking, or hiking in the Southwest.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I was in traveling in Cambodia with a group of 17 students and my co-staff. We had visited the temples of Angkor Wat the day before on bicycles. This was a really fun way to get around and see a lot of the temples in a day. However, my favorite moment was returning to Angkor Wat the following day to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat temple.

I arrived in a tuk-tuk with one other person at the very early hours of the morning. While it would appear very busy at the temple with people lined up with cameras to capture the moment, everything around me was fairly quiet and peaceful. Why this memory has stood out to me was the fact that everyone was so calm, truly taking in the present moment, observing the sunrise in such a sacred and beautiful place. It is rare to be around so many people while feeling so much stillness and peace.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Working for Winterline has opened me up to more self-reliance and self-discipline. While I am part of a team, I often work solo on projects. I have learned to rely on myself, to trust my intuition, and to be comfortable making decisions that impact my role and work with students. I work remotely from home and have been given more autonomy and freedom in my day to day work, and through that, I've developed greater self-discipline. One way that shows up is in setting my own priorities with projects and "to-dos", and creating uninterrupted space to work on those.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

One unique aspect of our program is the Independent Study Project. For this project, students spend a week in Europe learning a new skill. It is a completely self-designed and executed project, where students come back sharing so many great stories and growth moments.

One of those stories was from a student who chose to bike pack through Italy. She told the story of getting lost while biking and realizing she had to turn around after she had descended a very long downhill section of road. This student talked about not only the physical challenges of bike packing but also the mental challenges and how she overcame those in pursuit of learning a new skill and expanding her comfort zone.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I have had the opportunity to travel to 10 different countries with our students as a Field Advisor on the Global Skills Program. Winterline is newly offering a "Choose Your Path" option that allows students the opportunity to choose between different itinerary options, one is to travel to Africa. I am intrigued and curious by this option, to travel to South Africa and Rwanda and be exposed to a variety of new skills and community. I would choose this option for the chance to see new places in the world and because of the focus on community building. This is a skill I believe can apply to so many avenues in my life, and I imagine I'd be really inspired by what I learned, to implement positive change in my home community.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Working for Winterline is unique in that we are a smaller organization which allows everyone to have a voice and work closely together. We are always striving to create the most fulfilling and well-rounded program for our students. This means that we seek and implement feedback from our field staff and students to understand their experience in more depth and find ways to better what we do year after year.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe Winterline is successful because every person on our staff is passionate about our student experience, excited about travel, and values the change and personal growth that comes from hands-on learning experiences. We strive to take education outside of the classroom and into the hands of all our students, introducing them to a variety of new real-world skills.