Pretty Educated: Mental Health Counseling Graduate Wants You to Look and Feel Good

Posted on May 11, 2023

Ashley Lee Peeples is a wife, mother, entrepreneur, and scholar. As a makeup artist and clinical mental health professional, she understands the importance of looking and feeling good.Peeples is a native of Glenwood, Georgia. She resides in her hometown with her son, Jaxson, and her husband, Stephen. She is an Economic Support Specialist for the Department of Family and Children Services, and this Spring, she is graduating with a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Her road to success has not been an easy one. Her ability to cope with loss and hardship came early and has helped her forge her career path. She lost her eight-year-old brother to Renal Stage kidney failure at age ten. She lost her father in 2009. Her father was a veteran, and like many vets, he struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Peeples completed her Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Analysis at Savannah State University. Two weeks before commencement, she lost her grandfather to Alzheimer’s disease. Her mother, Terrie Lee, died in 2017 from a massive heart attack. The last blow came with the passing of her grandmother just a few years ago, but even through her grieving, she continued her studies.
Peeples’s mother was a master cosmetologist, sparking an interest in beauty at an early age. The first time she applied makeup was in her mother’s shop. In her mother’s beauty salon, she often rendered services for outward appearances but talked to clients about their personal lives and usually offered sound advice.

Peeples was officially inducted into the Chi Sigma Iota National Honors Society (the international and professional academic honor society for counseling students). Following her induction, she provided significant work in hosting two Chi Sigma Iota events by volunteering her time and effort, including overseeing the program’s fundraising efforts. She is now the vice president of the organization’s FVSU chapter.

Her enthusiasm and leadership are evidenced by her rigorous schedule as a mother and partner, working full-time as a small business owner, and supporting her counseling program peers while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She commuted over an hour and a half to attend classes after a full day of work and often returned home to a sleeping family. She contributed more than 680 hours of community service during her graduate school tenure. Peeples excelled in the most challenging classes, entering the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the National Society of Leadership and Success, all while working full-time and taking full course load.

“As a small business owner for more than nine years, that experience, and my purpose-driven tenacity, has fueled my desire to fulfill my life goal as a clinical mental health professional,” says Peeples. She plans to continue school and obtain her doctorate, but for now, she wants to enjoy being a newlywed.

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