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Our Amazing Clients

Meet Ashley Lopez Cruz, one of Our Amazing Clients

Sunday, May 19, 2024
Ashley Lopez Cruz overcame tremendous hurdles with support from NewBridge Jobs Plus to pursue her education and career aspirations.

“The people at NewBridge showed me life is worth living.”

Struggling with depression and anxiety, Ashley Lopez Cruz’ high school experience got off to a rough start — and went downhill from there. By junior year, when she returned to in-person classes after the long pandemic hiatus, it was unbearable.

“I would call my mom to pick me up because I was throwing up. I was barely in school,” Lopez Cruz  said. “I realized, I really can’t be here anymore.”

She enrolled in NewBridge Jobs Plus in April 2022 and immediately, the staff helped arrange counseling to help her cope with her depression and anxiety. “I was going through a lot mentally. The people at NewBridge showed me life is worth living,” Lopez Cruz said.

Educational counselor Jasiah Rodriguez helped her become a more independent student ready for the rigors of college. “I loved doing school work again,” the 19-year-old said. Within four months, Lopez Cruz had earned her New Jersey high school diploma. She was named the Class of 2023’s Associate of the Year and received a $2,000 Parker Endowment Scholarship Award.

Ashley is studying biology at County College of Morris and works in the campus bookstore. After earning her associate’s degree, she plans to transfer to Cedar Crest College in Pennsylvania and pursue veterinary medicine. Of the many NewBridge Jobs Plus field trips she went on, her favorite was a horse sanctuary where she walked and groomed horses.

Lopez Cruz lives in Dover with her parents and sister. Her mom, Veronica Lopez, said she is incredibly proud of Ashley for earning her diploma and pursuing her dream. “Everyone at NewBridge supported Ashley’s education and her mental health,” her mom said.

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