Ashley is the first one to admit that she never thought school was very important. She dropped out of high school and her life revolved around parties and drugs. However, everything changed when she became pregnant with her daughter. In 2014, Ashley came to Goodwill for help and enrolled in the Access Center Adult High School in partnership with Forsyth Technical Community College. She was doing well with her classes until an abusive relationship ended her plans to get her high school diploma and nearly ended her life. Ashley’s life was torn apart and she wound up losing her children for three years. Health problems knocked her down but not out; she survived a heart attack, a diabetic coma, and was in dialysis for kidney failure.

Ashley had a lot of time to think about her future and decided she wanted to finish the two courses that stood between her and her high school diploma. When she came back to the Access Center in 2019, she had the support of her husband and family. Her husband told her, “You can’t quit. You’ve come so far.” She is grateful to the staff at the Access Center for the constant encouragement they have provided. In September 2019 Ashley was very excited to receive her high school diploma. Ashley said that her oldest child is not too fond of school and it was important that she could be a good example for her daughter. Ashley is pursuing a career related to the medical field. Because she is on the list for a kidney transplant, she cannot work in a hospital environment but is interested in Bio-Tech classes and Crime Scene Investigation. Meanwhile, Ashley has a very busy schedule which includes taking care of her two daughters, her two step-children, plus 2 nephews. She continues to take dialysis three days a week for four hours at a time. Her rare blood type makes it more difficult for her to find a donor. Through it all, Ashley remains positive and hopeful. As she said, “You can’t let negativity control your life.”



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