FELLOW OF THE WEEK: ASHLEY HARTON-POWELL

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Ashley is a First Year Fellow serving at Freedom House as the Freedom House Academy Fellow!

1. Why did you decide to do a year of service?

I believe we benefit from helping others that may have not been as privileged as us, showing them that there are people in the world that care. The population I serve are basically neighbors; we’ve walked the same streets, gone to the same schools, ate from the same corner stores and played at the same parks. But because of different reasons, not all of us were able to go to college, much less, finish high school. I want to show my neighbors that no matter where you came from, you have the ability to strive and be great.

2. Who inspires you?

My parents. My father finished high school and did a trade in mechanics, so he didn’t go to college. He did, however, push me while I was in school from 1st grade up until college, making sure that I went further than he did. My mom was a first generation college student, going to Northeastern University for her BS in Nursing. Although she struggled, she was able to finish, graduate and pass her boards, and now she enjoys her career. She’s been nominated Nurse of the Year by March of Dimes several times, and although she hasn’t won yet, it is still an honor.

3. How would you describe yourself in three words?

driven, thoughtful, and encouraging

4. What are some of your hobbies?

I love to listen to music and sing. A song is always in my head, even when I have no headphones in. I also play a little tennis, but its been a while. Oh! And I crochet. Winter is coming! If you need a scarf, just buy your favorite pattern of yarn and hand it over!

5. What are you most excited for this year with MPF?

I am excited to start working with my students! Getting them fired up and motivated. I haven’t worked with high school age students before, so I am excited to connect with them and inspire them to get out of their comfort zones.

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