I have a passion for empowering at-risk youth and their families.
My mission is to help young people expand their vision beyond what they thought was possible so they can learn to use their gifts to be successful in life.
About Holly Ashley
Throughout her life and career, Holly has maintained involvement in a vast array of professional, charitable, and personal endeavors, striving for excellence in each of her pursuits. Prior to entering the social services industry, she enjoyed an extensive sales and marketing career working for corporate giants R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Lorillard Tobacco Company, African Pride Hair Care and Philadelphia Coca-Cola. The progress of her career led Holly to become a Regional Merchandising Manager for Revlon. As a Regional Merchandising Manager, Holly provided coaching, support and strategic direction for her team.
Holly’s interest in social services began in 2000, when she and her husband learned that they were going to have twins. A routine examination revealed that the babies were conjoined at the stomach and chest. The doctors quietly hinted that they should have a second trimester abortion because the chances of the twins surviving nine months was slim. Rejecting that option, they decided to trust God and fight the good fight of faith in spite of the odds.
After many tests, they learned that each baby had their own extremities but shared a heart and other internal organs. As the pregnancy progressed, both babies grew at a normal rate and were in good condition. Against all odds, the girls made it to the end of their eighth month before the doctors performed a cesarean section. On November 9, 2000, the Ashley’s daughters were delivered. Unfortunately, the tiny heart they shared kept them alive for three short hours.
This journey would lead Holly to leave the sales industry and establish youth organizations that provide community based residential and case management services to the youth served by the Child and Family Services Agency and the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services in Washington, DC. With more than two decades of operational, management and entrepreneurial experience, she has developed a clear understanding for what it takes to be successful and her life has been committed to empowering young men and women who are at-risk ever since.
Currently, Holly is working on completing her Masters of Social Work Degree (with a specialization in Clinical Behavior Health) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, followed by her Law Degree. She has chosen this path as a means to better service at-risk children, youth and their families, helping them expand their vision of success. After observing how lawyers and social workers can influence the outcome of someone’s life, Holly saw these professions as an opportunity to make greater impact in the lives of others in which the consequences of her work could be seen directly.
For Holly, pursuing a MSW and a Juris Doctorate degree is not simply a means of self-actualization, but an avenue to justice and a means to speak for those in society who are often deemed voiceless. Far too often, social work and law reflects the existing societal gaps and lacks the power necessary to effectively advocate for disenfranchised people. Throughout her years of working with at-risk youth and their families, she has observed the lack of shared vision between legal and social service systems. Holly wants to play an important role in implementing comprehensive policies that influence social change.
Her dedication to the service of others continues, knowing that people have been created to live for something greater than themselves. She firmly believes that the contribution people make to this world should be measured by something more significant than the size of a their home or the community where it is located. Holly charges that a person's life will find lasting importance in how they choose to live, more importantly, how they empower others to live theirs.
"Given the diverse social issues that face our youth today, the future would appear dreary for them. But I believe that with proper attention, youth can be cultivated to become competent leaders in society."