Alumni Voices: Riley, Class of 2019
Meet Riley, Alum from the Class of 2019: “When I think about ASH, well, sometimes I wish I was still at ASH. It’s like ASH will always be a part of me. I feel like I'm at home when I think of ASH.”
Riley attended ASH for high school as a student in our Special Education program. He was part of the first group of students to graduate from this program in 2019. He lives locally and works at a restaurant Brownies and Downies in Leiden, something he enjoyed doing while at ASH in the Trojan Cafe. Now he is taking this passion to the next level!

Riley pictured speaking at his ASH high school graduation ceremony

What is the general framework of when you were at ASH and what was your ASH experience like?
I was at ASH for high school, in the Special Education program. I graduated in 2019 and that was really good, I was proud. I really liked the Trojan Cafe we did every week for students and staff. I also was in the high school musical Zombie Prom. I like badminton, swimming and also soccer.
Are there any standout moments or people from your ASH experience?
I liked the Trojan Cafe. It's like full circle with what I am doing today. It is making drinks and the Trojan Cafe idea to the next level - in a restaurant. The Trojan Cafe helped me think this might be something I like to do.
What words can you share about meaningful learning, to our current students?
The things you learn at ASH matter; like Dutch. I learned Dutch when I was at ASH, I didn't speak dutch before I came to ASH. Now I can speak Dutch every day.
Where are you today and what are you pursuing?
Things are good since I graduated from ASH. Right now I'm working in a restaurant, working with lots of people, serving food, working at the cash register and making drinks. My favorite part is mixing the drinks.
I started working in the restaurant Brownies and Downies as an intern in 2019, and then a bit later I got the job as a server. I found out about the internship from my teacher (Ms. Donelly) - she brought me here. Ms. D knew about this place and she brought me here to see if I could intern.
My favorite part about working here is making new friends and meeting new people. I like making friends and practicing my Dutch with the customers. If there are English speaking people coming in I can speak with them. Mostly I speak English but I also use my Dutch with the Dutch speaking customers.
When I think about ASH, well, sometimes I wish I was still at ASH. It’s like ASH will always be a part of me. I feel like I’m at home when I think of ASH. Now I kind of have a new home here, I work 4 days a week so I spend lots of time here!


We have a diverse community of students, staff, and families from around the world. Each member of our community brings their own story that enriches the #ASHexperience.