Throughout Ashlyn’s entire life, she encountered many difficult and painful challenges. She was born into a home situation of mental illness and domestic violence. Ashlyn’s mother left when she was only three years old and Ashlyn was raised by her father who did little to nurture her and more to nurture his gambling habit. “I spent many nights locked in the car in the casino parking lot as a child”. Her mother would enter her life and then leave again repeatedly and by age 11, Ashlyn was hanging with the wrong crowd, using drugs and running away from group homes and homeless shelters where she would stay with her mom.
That’s when Voice For Children came into her life. She was homeless yet again but this time, Voices helped her find housing, they provided for tutoring so she could complete her GED and helped her with her legal struggles. Today Ashlyn feels as though she has been given a second chance. She is working at a restaurant and attends beauty school. She dreams of owning her own hair salon and being the first in her family to own a business so she can help them re-build their lives just as she is re-building hers. She also dreams of one day being able to be a financial supporter of Voices For Children and giving back to the organization that has done so much for her. “We are also the future of this community and Voices makes sure that kids like me know that we have the same worth as anyone else, they become your family and treat you the way a family would.”
Her advice for youth that are going through a similar situation than hers: “Always look for something more than attention, look for support and surround yourself with people you can look up to so you want to rise higher. That’s what Voices For Children is for me.”