Ashley gave her first speech and keynote address to over 1,200 people at a national convention when she was just 14 years old.  Today, she is an Internationally recognized motivational speaker and has been to invited the White House, has spoken on Capitol Hill, and has taught at numerous colleges and conferences for elected officials, judges, social workers, policy makers, families, and corporations.
As a child, she used her story to create change in the child welfare system. Now as an adult, she has broadened her compelling, inspirational message to address educators, youth, and businesses that strive to empower the lives of others.

PRESENTATION TOPICS

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Motivating Change in Three Little Words

(Based on her award-winning International and New York Times Bestselling memoir, Three Little Words)

General Overview

Born in 1985 to a single teen mother Ashley was placed in foster care at the age of 3. Most of her 14 placements were abusive and overcrowded. In one home, 16 people lived in a small trailer where the children were regularly beaten, neglected, verbally assaulted, and starved. Another foster parent became a convicted pedophile. At one point, she was also placed with an alcoholic relative that was shot twice in front of her.

After spending almost ten years in the system, Ashley was finally adopted from a group home when she was twelve.  Instead of seeing herself as a victim, Ashley has used her experience to find the strength to accomplish incredible things.  She became a New York Times Bestselling author by age 22, holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work, ran for Florida State Senate at age 26, created and heads a non-profit organization, and she has been a foster parent to more than 20 children. In this inspiring keynote, Ashley will show audiences how to overcome their own personal and professional challenges to accomplish more than they ever thought possible.  She delivers her story with humor and grace, and attendees will leave energized and ready to take on the world!

Partial List of Takeaways

  • Decode several key elements of resilience like: Accountability, optimism and openness, identifying constructive influences, and accepting and giving help
  • Becoming a successful life strategist and overcoming fears or “failures”
  • Impact positive thinking and introspection by turning set-backs into successes
  • Give hope, inspiration, and motivation through a personal story of perseverance and determination  
  • Encourage community engagement
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Reframing Your Life and Leadership: What’s Good About Bad Experiences

“Instead of letting my past experiences cripple me, I was able to put a positive spin on my experiences.”

General Overview

“Instead of letting my past experiences cripple me, I was able to put a positive spin on my experiences.” A negative force can give someone a rallying point and lead them to not only find solutions to their dilemma, but also provide a new path to happiness. It is often our adverse experiences that make us that much more capable of success.  Ashley Rhodes-Courter grew up in an abusive foster care system but went on to become a New York Times Bestselling author by the age of 22, earn her Master’s Degree in Social Work, run for State Senate at 26, and start a non-profit organization.

Reframing Your Life and Leadership helps both individuals and executives become better leaders by empowering them to embrace their life experiences and translate them into meaningful, productive contributions to business and community.  In this humorous presentation, Ashley takes audiences through her personal story and highlights key elements of leadership and focus that allowed her to triumph despite initial tragedies.

Partial List of Takeaways

  • Inspire compassion, motivation, self-confidence, and inner strength by exploring how our mistakes provide opportunity for personal growth
  • How to maintain a healthy attitude and workplace by seeing the positive side of a negative situation

 

  • Provide tips for self-care and burnout prevention

 

  • Move employees to be more productive at work, home, and in their communities
  • How to become the kind of leader others want to follow
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Four Letter Words & Three More Words: Finding Professional and Personal Balance

In this funny, riveting and inspirational keynote speech, Ashley encourages audiences to organize, prioritize, and sometimes, just enjoy.

General Overview

Ashley has been a mother to more than 20 foster children while maintaining a career as an international speaker, writer, and non-profit director. Often, people feel as though they must sacrifice or compromise their dreams for either their family or a job. Ashley knows first-hand the delicate balance of navigating complicated family dynamics and successfully negotiating the unique demands in our daily lives. In this funny, riveting and inspirational keynote speech, Ashley encourages audiences to organize, prioritize, and sometimes, just enjoy. Ashley also pulls inspiration and anecdotes from her #1 award-winning memoir, Three More Words.

Partial List of Takeaways

  • Maintaining focus in personal and professional environments filled with multiple, competing distractions
  • Creating a plan that bring focus, purpose, and passion to the things that matter most
  • Learn the power of saying “no”
  • How to rid yourself of toxic relationships
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Power of One Person and Making a Difference:  How One Person Can Change the Life of Another

It only takes one person to change the life of another and Ashley’s story serves as a passionate example of triumph and inspiration.

General Overview

It takes only one person to change a life. We all know someone who has been ill, medically fragile, neglected, abused, impoverished, in foster care, or has a special need. As a foster child for almost a decade, Ashley had key teachers, workers, and volunteers that helped get her out of abusive situations and ultimately helped find her a loving adoptive family. Her story is an inspirational living example of what can happen when we give our voice to another.  It only takes one person to change the life of another and Ashley’s story serves as a passionate example of triumph and inspiration.  Sometimes, the biggest impact is being made when you’re not even trying!

 

Heroes can be a mentor, nurse, teacher, foster or adoptive parent, CASA, relative, spiritual leader, peer, neighbor, sibling, counselor, community member, business owner, or friend.  “Several people reached out to me and can be credited not only for my success, but my survival—and one was an unpaid volunteer.”

Partial List of Takeaways

  • How to reengage or recruit employees, workers, or volunteers
  • Top 10 tips on engaging the local community
  • How to successfully raise funds for a non-profit organization or cause
  • Turn personal pain or tragedies into a powerful voice for others
  • How to help another while maintaining self-care and avoiding debilitating transference
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The Keys to the Kingdom: School as Sanctuary

Ashley talks about the importance of recognizing strengths, engaging students and youth, and reminds us that school may be the only sanctuary some children have.

General Overview

Ashley attributes education as a key cornerstone of her success. In this presentation, Ashley talks about the importance of recognizing strengths, engaging students and youth, and reminds us that school may be the only sanctuary some children have. Ashley gives us a unique glimpse into the lives of children that may have abusive or troubled home lives, and discusses how that can translate in the classroom. Ashley also gives customized presentations to students and youth for schools, colleges, libraries, graduations, and student organizations.

“I was lucky enough to have teachers who took a special interest in me—an uncertain foster child—and nurtured me in the classroom where I felt safe.  They made me feel special, talented, and encouraged me to continue to excel academically. Teachers or administrators also called in abuse complaints and tried to protect me—even when they were ignored many times. One anonymous call probably saved my life.”

Partial List of Takeaways

  • Tips for teaching through tough times or connecting with troubled or difficult students
  • Explore why some students act the way they do: the impact of coming from a broken home
  • How to engage beyond the textbooks
  • Provide potential assessment tools

For Youth & Students

  • Breaking the cycle: moving beyond your circumstances in the short and long-term
  • Setting and achieving goals: identifying individual strengths and next steps
  • Finding outlets:  how to express and share your own story in a healthy way
  • Encouraging success inside and outside the classroom
  • Improve communication:  what your verbal and non-verbal communication is saying
  • Taking responsibility and owning your life and experience
  • See beyond bullying
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