Ashley: Finding Her Way Through the Trauma

One of the many worries foster youth face as they transition into adulthood is ‘how can I possibly be a good parent when I never had the unconditional love of a mother or father?’ Ashley was raised by an aunt in Austin, Texas, who ended up signing over her parental rights when Ashley was twelve.

“I was so scared. It happened overnight – I never knew my life could change so quickly.”

Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of her nightmare. After a year in foster care, Ashley was sent to California to live with her biological father, a man she had never met. She was then sexually abused by him, and when she finally asked for help, she was sent back into foster care.

It was ultimately her belief that “it could have been worse” that drove her to succeed. Now in her twenties, Ashley proves that there is more to her than her traumatic past. She pushed herself through college, graduated, is fully employed and is raising her daughter.

“She is my motivation for becoming this better person,” Ashley says. Ashley is proof that it is possible to be a good parent despite a traumatic past.

One of the organizations that helped Ashley find a job when she aged out of the system was an Orange County social enterprise company, Doing Good Works.

Watch below, or find the video on YouTube.


This video was produced by The Storyboard Project, an online documentary web-series created by Mira Zimet and Eric Weintraub.

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