NCCU Student Honored for Mental Health Advocacy and Community Service

Posted December 17, 2021, 11:06AM

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) nursing major Ashley Sherman has been recognized for outstanding leadership and service by the North Carolina Campus Compact, a statewide network of colleges and universities with a shared commitment to community engagement. She was formally honored on Nov. 5, 2021, during the organization’s virtual ceremony.

Sherman is a recipient of the network’s Community Impact Student Award, which honors a student leader at each member school. Her nomination cited Sherman’s efforts in mental health education, awareness and support at NCCU.

“As a peer support mentor and student-leader, Ashley saw the importance of mental health education, awareness and support,” said Yolanda VanRiel, Ph.D., chair of the NCCU Department of Nursing. “Ashley’s efforts were instrumental in getting Talk Space approved as a campus organization to offer much needed peer counseling to students.”

“Upon graduation, Ashley will have a significant impact on the nursing profession,” VanReil adds.

Sherman developed and led efforts for NCCU Talk Space, a student peer support group. The organization recently partnered with youth mental health collaborative United Chinese Americans (UCA) Wellness, Advocacy, Voices, Education and Support (WAVES) to host a webinar to bring awareness of mental health concerns on college campuses. The conversation included featured speaker Victor Armstrong, deputy secretary and chief equity officer for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

As president of NCCU’s Student Nurses Association, she led events in the Department of Nursing and in the local Durham community. She also serves as president of the Department of Nursing Student Advisory Council.

The North Carolina Campus Compact is a collaborative network of colleges and universities committed to educating students for civic and social responsibility, partner with communities for positive change, and strengthen democracy. NCCU is a founding member of the network that was established in 2002. Learn more about the organization at

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