Asher College Student Services Specialist Lisa Wrightsman has been named one of Sacramento Business Journal’s 40 under 40. For the last six years, this event has celebrated the achievements of the area’s young professionals. Lisa’s work with Asher College as well as her dedication to Street Soccer USA has earned her a place amongst this year’s winners.
Lisa grew up an avid soccer player in Elk Grove, California. Her talents awarded her a soccer scholarship at Sacramento State University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. After college, Lisa played professional soccer for several years and later entered the education field. During this time Lisa suffered from alcohol and drug addiction which she said “destroyed any opportunities in my life and forced me to restart.”
Lisa entered rehabilitation programs including a transitional employment program which introduced her to Street Soccer USA. Street Soccer USA is a national organization whose mission is to improve health, education, and employment for disadvantaged Americans through sports.
“Street Soccer USA uses the power of soccer to impact those who are trying to make a transition in their life,” said Lisa. “The skills required to be successful in soccer are very relevant to the skills required to succeed in life. It helped me put my life into a forward moving momentum. The program opened my mind about what I could achieve through sobriety and convinced me that living this way could be exciting and rewarding.”
Lisa began this program six years ago and has since moved from participant to mentor and coach. Lisa founded the first all woman’s street soccer team, the Sacramento Lady Salamanders.
“Because this program was successful for me, I wanted to reach out to women I was living around. Women have a lot of different challenges and barriers, especially if they have kids, and it was really important to me that this program was inviting to women,” she said.
During Lisa’s recovery, she began interning at Asher College. She was eventually promoted to a position as a student services administrator where she is responsible for providing support for students and ensuring they are on track for graduation. She also currently teaches the Career Success class, a seven-week course which ascertains a student’s habits, attitudes, beliefs, and expectations and determines what a student needs in order to be successful. Lisa passes the life skills she has learned onto her Asher students and serves as an inspiration and role model.
“I am grateful I am able to bring my own experiences into the college and try to introduce our students to things that have been really helpful to me,” said Lisa. “There was no way I could have grown and developed if Asher staff hadn’t been supportive and excited for my successes in life. That is our culture. We all really want our students to win. We want them to be successful and to be able to communicate to them that if they succeed, we succeed.”
Lisa and the other 39 finalists will be honored at a ceremony on November 18 in West Sacramento.