Ashley, currently a junior, spent her first two years of college volunteering with underprivileged children inOrleans Gardens, a neighborhood in West Ashley that is known as a dangerous inner city community.
When asked about the condition of the area, Ashley responded, “The neighborhood is notorious for gangs, shootings and crystal-meth labs. I just had to block out the dangers and focus on the children.”
Hence, Ashley was willing to sacrifice her own security to help these children – whom she considers “her responsibility." She spent two hours a day, twice a week with these children for two years tutoring them in math, spelling, and other school subjects.
“After volunteering with these kids for such a long period of time, they really looked up to you and expected you to be there – which was important to me because very few of them had positive role models in there lives,” Ashley said.
Over time, Ashley was able to develop strong bonds with these children, and in effect turned out to be a very positive and encouraging influence in their lives (and quite possibly the ONLY good influence).
The organization that Ashley volunteered through was based out of Citadel Square Baptist Church, the church that she currently attends.