Ashley Rhodes-Courter

Ashley Rhodes-Courter

Author & Child-Welfare Advocate


Don’t dwell. Do. Figure out how to move forward.

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Was born to a single teen mother and was put into foster care at the age of three, where she spent the next 10 years living at over 14 homes.
Many of the foster care homes she lived in were mentally and physically abusive environments—she later learned that 25 percent of her caregivers either were or became convicted felons.
School became her sanctuary and it helped her cope with and transcend her circumstances—says “nobody could beat my knowledge out of me.”
She was eventually adopted from a children’s home when she was 12.
Says all of her experiences growing up “created a platform of passion” and a desire to advocate for others—as a teen, she got directly involved in lawsuits that changed foster care laws.
At age 17, she won a writing contest with an essay about her life and was granted a book deal—her first book, “Three Little Words,” became a New York Times and international bestseller.
Earned a full scholarship to Eckerd College, where she majored in communications and theater and minored in political science and psychology; she also holds a master’s degree in social work.
She is now a celebrated speaker, advocate, nonprofit founder, author, and foster parent working to change policies surrounding the foster care system and provide support to children and parents.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Business/Corporate Communications
Eckerd College
undergrad
Bachelor
Theatre/Theater
Eckerd College
undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
Eckerd College
undergrad
Bachelor
Psychology, General
Eckerd College
graduate
Graduate
Social Work
University of Southern California
Career

Career

Author & Child-Welfare Advocate

I am a former foster child, motivational speaker, activist, and a New York Times & International Bestselling Author.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Politics
Politics
Upholding a Cause and Belief
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

As a social worker, I work with young people in the system to make sure they are thriving in their home, school, etc. I also run a nonprofit and my job changes daily. I organize meetings, fundraise, advocate, and more. As a speaker, I travel the country and globe addressing businesses, schools, colleges, and groups that work with children, women, and families.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Embrace your short comings and make those your strengths. Volunteer. Use your voice and experiences to advocate for causes that you believe in.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

You are going to have good days and bad days. You have to wade it out until the wave comes to push you back to shore. Embrace your weaknesses and don't let them burden you.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Business/Corporate Communications
undergrad
Bachelor
Theatre/Theater
undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
undergrad
Bachelor
Psychology, General
graduate
Graduate
Social Work
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You are just going to be another statistic."

I made a point to not get into trouble or get involved in activities that could potentially derail my life. I focused on school and knew that that would help me get to where I wanted to go in life.

Challenges I Overcame

Gangs / Violence
Gangs / Violence

I was born to a single teen mother and by the age of 3 I was in Florida’s foster care system where I spent almost ten years in and out of 14 homes. Some of these home environments were very abusive and the constant moving around took a toll.

First-Generation College Student
First-Generation College Student

I excelled in school because education was the one thing that nobody could take away from me and I wanted to be able to advocate for other children who had grown up under similar circumstances.