Whatever I decide to do, Ashford’s prepared me for it.

Celeste Chappell-Bates


Celeste Chappell-Bates is a flight attendant, aspiring broadcast journalist, and Ashford University alumni. We spoke to her about her experience shortly after she graduated at age 50. 

“Being a flight attendant and being in a different hotel room in a different city every day of the week,” explains Celeste, “I needed an education module that would follow me wherever I went.” So in April 2010, she enrolled in Ashford University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication program and found that it worked well with her lifestyle. “It fits into your life, it doesn’t take away from your life; it’s not something that you have to work around. Ashford pretty much works around you.” 

About two and a half years later, Celeste traveled to Ashford’s campus in Clinton, IA for her graduation day. It was extra special for her because she was the first in her family to put on a cap and gown and walk across the stage with a college degree. 

Celeste told us that she felt her Ashford degree would allow her to walk into a job interview with confidence, knowing that she is truly qualified. This self-assuredness has already bled over into her current professional life. While continuing to pursue her dream, Celeste interns at a recruiting firm that places IT professionals in Fortune 500 companies. Her boss, Janis, said she noticed a distinct change in Celeste after she enrolled at Ashford. “Her confidence has just gone through the roof,” she reported. “When the confidence goes [up], her writing gets even better.” 

“Technology has moved [with] lightning speed,” said Celeste, “but whatever I decide to do, Ashford’s prepared me for it.”

Celeste received the "Project Working Mom!" scholarship from eLearners.com, which covered her tuition and expenses in full.

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