Happipad Spotlight on Ashley
community leader who inspires, creating a better world for everyone
Kelowna is home for many, a place we all love for similar reasons. Aside from the temperate weather and easy access to recreation, many will say they like the “feel” of Kelowna. The community in Kelowna is unique, a collage of each residents contribution. Among the masses there are some people who go above and beyond creating this atmosphere, the silent leaders in our city. Ashley is one of those people.
Community is formed from the contribution of each-individual in our city. The future of our community relies upon what we do today. Inspiring, motivating, raising and teaching our future generation to do great things. This is not an easy task and takes sacrifice, Ashley is a silent leader in our community doing just that. A single mother of 3, a young professional, and a heart that brings an overwhelming warmth to any situation.
Ashley started her life in Kelowna 13 years ago, raising her newborn twin sons with plans to raise her family in the city she loved. Despite having a professional career that pays a fair salary, the expenses of raising a family has caused a great deal of financial strain. For many years, renting a home has been the only way to allow her children to grow and experience life to their full potential. Ashley has invested her time and finances into developing her children instead of real-estate. Providing her children with unconditional love, opportunity, and inspiration. Ashley fights every-day to create a better tomorrow for all of us. Raising a household of future leaders, teaching them that the struggles we face make us stronger. An advocate for community, Ashley believes that
“Community is essential for everyone’s success and to emotionally fill your cup; there will always be those in need, and those who have the means to make a difference. Feeling like you are a part of something bigger is a great feeling when on the giving end, and if you find yourself on the receiving end it’s nice knowing you have community support in your time of need, and when the time comes you pay it forward.”
The sacrifices Ashley has made would make most people fall to their knees. Doing her best to do what she can, every minute of every day being dedicated to keeping her family together. Allowing her children to live, learn, and experience all the things that children should. Despite doing so much good there is often little reciprocity. After having to move 9 times in 10 years, you can understand why. This was not always by Ashley’s choice, for at times a lack of honesty has caused severe pain for her family.
“We moved into a home that we were told was not listed for sale only to find out it was listed. The house was sold 2 months later, we had barely settled in and had to pack up and go again.”
These situations have caused extreme emotional pain for her family. Between some moves she has had to let go of family pets to be accepted into a rental property, causing emotional distress for her children.
Ashley has always been trying to do what is best for her family. Being the inspirational leader she is, she puts a positive spin on things telling her kids they can experience a “new beginning” with every move. Having lived in every quadrant of the city, transferring her children from school to school has been more than challenging.
My daughter often says “I wish we didn’t have to borrow all our houses and we could just keep one”.
Today Ashley is renting a 3 bedroom townhome with no yard, this provides just enough space for her energetic family. Despite her positive energy and inspiration she always feels an awkward tension. The strata rules in her complex do not allow her dog to step on her small lawn patch, so it’s permanently fenced off, available only for viewing. Some neighborhoods she has lived in never provided a sense of belonging. Ashley puts her family and community before anything else. The “keeping up with the Jones’s” mentality she has experienced in some neighborhoods is completely opposite of her values. She has felt stigmatization as a renter, making it hard to feel as if she belongs in a city she has contributed so much to.
Ashley represents many families in our community who value their family and the community above all else. Creating a beautiful family has been priority over growing a beautiful home. Renting has been a means to allow her family to grow but has unfortunately not always gone as planned. As one of the first supporters of Happipad, Ashley is an inspiring member in our community who values people first. Her hard efforts along with the efforts of many other families who share the same principles are what creates the path for our future generation.
Ashley is a strong supporter of the organizations who do a wonderful job assisting those in need. She is grateful for the Kelowna Food Bank, Mamas for Mamas, KidSport and the School District to make things easier when needed.
As a community we can do great things, but this can only happen when we work together. Let’s look beyond the stigmas and honour those who make sacrifices every day to lead our community from behind the scenes.
This post was written by Happipad