New Staff Members Join WHEF’s Dedicated Team

WHEF is excited to introduce four new staff members that joined the organization this spring. 

Ashley Bryant 

Ashley Rose Bryant joined WHEF in May 2023 as assistant director and outreach for the Jackson Get2College Center. She moved from her hometown, Meridian, MS, in the Spring of 2014 to attend Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. Ashley graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor concentration in costume design in 2018. 

Ashley remained in the Jackson area, where she grew in the community and gained a strong background in various customer service roles. In 2021, Ashley returned to her alma mater, Belhaven University, as an admission counselor. She traveled on behalf of the University and worked with various families and students, specifically with incoming artists or designers, through the college admissions process. 

Ashley understands from personal experience the emotions, concerns, and life factors that impact a student’s ability and decision to pursue college. She is excited to join the WHEF team to continue using her postgraduate experience and growing knowledge of the education system to counsel, encourage, and assist families on their journey to higher education. 

When not in the WHEF office, Ashley enjoys singing, creating deliciousness in the kitchen, working on creative projects, serving with her local Church, and spending quality time with her family and friends. 

Yolanda Houston 

Yolanda Houston joined WHEF in April 2023 as director of the Mississippi Consortium for Higher Education in Prison. She is a native of the Mississippi Delta. Yolanda has been in central Mississippi since 1987. A 1987 West Bolivar High School graduate, she received a B.S. Degree in Mass Communications from Jackson State University in 1991. She is also a 2006 graduate of the University of Phoenix with a master’s in management and human resource management, where she graduated with honors. Yolanda was a 2017-2018 fellow with the Education Policy Fellowship Program sponsored by Mississippi State University and the John C. Stennis Institute of Government. She is a 2019 graduate of Capella University, where she received an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership and Administration. Yolanda is a member of the Junior Auxiliary, Byram-Terry Chapter. 

Yolanda started her career in education in 2008 as Job Specialist with Jobs for Mississippi’s Graduates; in 2011, she was a Tech Prep Instructor for Jackson Public Schools and, in 2015, a Social Studies Instructor for Hinds County School District. From 2016 to 2021, she served as the Director of Teacher Education Preparation, Director of Student Success at Hinds Community College – Utica Campus, and Coordinator of Program Effectiveness for Hinds Community College, Raymond Campus. Yolanda recently served as the full-time ABE/HSE Instructor at Holmes Community College – Ridgeland Campus. 

Yolanda has been married to Chester for almost 29 years. She and Chester are the proud parents of one son, Caleb. In her spare time, she loves attending baseball games and repurposing furniture. 

Ana Ochoa 

Ana Ochoa joined the Gulf Coast Get2College office in April 2023 as the assistant director of outreach. Before Get2College, she was a college representative and enrollment specialist at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. As an MGCCC College Representative and Enrollment Specialist, Ana served as a resource for prospective students on various student support services, actively recruited and built relationships within her assigned high schools, and traveled to schools and businesses to represent the institution. 

Ana graduated from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in 2019, where she received an Associate of Arts degree and an Associate of Science degree. After MGCCC, Ana received her bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2021. When she is not in the office, Ana enjoys cooking with her mom, taking walks with her dog, and spending time with her family. 

Chelsea Williams 

Chelsea Williams joined WHEF in May 2023 as coordinator on the External Training and Partnerships team. While she may be new to the Training team, she is not new to Get2College. In 2015, Chelsea used Get2College services to help guide her postsecondary education options. In 2018, she joined as a Get2College corps member and began to help other students complete the FAFSA, attending FAFSA days with Get2College staff.  

Chelsea is from Clinton and graduated from Clinton High School in 2017. She attended Holmes Community College under the Dean’s Scholarship and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She received her associate degree in Pre-Physical Therapy from Holmes CC in 2019. Chelsea went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Mississippi State University as a Presidential Scholar, graduating magna cum laude in 2021. 

When Chelsea is not in the office, she enjoys spending time with her family or watching her favorite sports like football and soccer. 

Posted by Comms Department at 14:13