Name: Ashton Simmons
Position: National Education Coordinator
School: DePauw University
City: Greencastle, IN
What’s your story?
My life has been largely defined by the stark differences between the rural Midwest and European cities. I grew up in small-town Indiana, but have studied in three European cities: I spent my junior year of high school in Zurich, Switzerland; and spent two semesters of college abroad, one in Strasbourg, France, and the other in Cork, Ireland. I am currently a senior at DePauw University, majoring in Political Science and History, with minors in French and European Studies.
Why do you care?
How can you not care? In the end, I really believe that everyone cares, or would care if they took the time to understand the incredibly amount of suffering that exists in the world. But there is a fundamental difference between caring and acting, and I choose to act.
What are your goals for the year
What are your goals for the year?
My goal for the year is to provide all STAND members such a foundation. Instead of just passing along random, Jeopardy-esque facts, I want to work on building a framework of understanding. Genocide is not just numbers of deaths or names of perpetrators, but rather a complex policy decision. Understanding this complexity is key to successfully advocating its end.
What makes you STAND?
My life is a constant balance of my many interests. Working to understand and act against genocide has been one of my biggest passions for a few years now. In addition to my work with STAND, I am currently writing an honors thesis on genocide prevention. Travel has probably always been my true love, whether exploring the cultural or the natural. I am currently planning a trip back to Ireland in October and a three week service trip to India in January. I also live for outdoor sports, whether it’s snowboarding, hiking, wakeboarding, beach volleyball, the list goes on forever. I am the oldest of four kids – the youngest of which is eight – so my siblings keep me on my toes.