By Roadtrip Nation

Ashley Rhodes-Courter


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


Author & Child-Welfare Advocate

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

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
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.

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:


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You are just going to be another statistic."

Challenges I Overcame

Foster Child / Adopted
First-Generation College Student

Interviewed By

Beating the Odds

Beating the Odds

Overcoming barriers as a first-generation college student