Ashley is extremely excited to combine her love for youth empowerment and poetry with Girls Leadership this summer. She lives and grew up in Colorado Springs and works in Denver, Colorado. Ashley graduated from the University of Colorado Springs Colorado with a BA in Psychology and Communication in 2013. After graduation she received a two-year fellowship with the El Pomar Foundation, a private general-purpose foundation, and developed a love for nonprofits and philanthropic giving. During her time at the foundation, she started working with a Denver-based nonprofit called Art from Ashes. Art from Ashes Art from Ashes exists to empower struggling youth by providing creative programs that facilitate health and hope through expression, connection, and transformation. Ashley is the Program Director of Art from Ashes and the lead facilitator. She travels to hospitals, mental health centers, schools and youth agencies to facilitate Art from Ashes’ poetry curriculum for struggling youth. She has worked in over 30 different agencies and around 300 youth last year. Ashley is also a slam poet and performs around Denver and Colorado Springs. Her poetry focuses on social justice issues, and her own experiences as an African-American woman in the community. She believes poetry has the ability to make change, empower, and bring people together.
In 2015, Ashley was fortunate enough to travel to Rwanda and Uganda with her Alma Mater, UCCS and the Global Livingston Institute and gained a desire to help international populations, especially youth dealing with trauma. During her stay in Uganda, she met one of Joseph Kony’s wives and ex-child soldier, Nurse Betty. Nurse Betty recounted her tales of a child solider in the bush. Her stories impacted Ashley and propelled her to purse a path that engaged youth with server trauma all over the world with psychological support. Ashley was just accepted to DU’s International Disaster Psychology master’s program for the fall of 2016 and is excited to follow her passions that started in Africa.
Ashley loves finding new restaurants, comedy shows, attending concerts and traveling with her friends and family. Her journey to Massachusetts for the summer will be another rewarding adventure.