Tell me a little about yourself.
I’m Ashley Essence Carter, I’m 26 years old. I’m from Camden, NJ. I moved to Philadelphia in 2011. I have a bubbly personality. I’m smart, goofy, and determined, I’m a diva. I’m me, I remain the same, I don’t switch up.
When were you in PowerCorpsPHL?
I was in Cohort 5 on Ms. Bagley’s crew, the All Stars.
What are you up to now?
I serve with Vetri Community Partnerships, it’s a non-profit organization that works with schools to improve school lunches. I assist the leadership in the kitchen and the classroom. I work on the Eat-i-quette program and the culinary classroom program. The Eat-i-quette program is a school lunch program that serves healthy food family style. In the classroom, we teach basic, healthy recipes to children by demonstrating the foodpreparation. Then, they get a chance to make the recipe. I also have days where I work in the office. I check my emails and do administrative tasks. I also come up with and test out different recipes. I found this position through the PowerCorpsPHL Career Services team (Shout-out to Margy and A.J.!). I was interested in it because of the experience that I get to work with kids. Since I graduated PowerCorps, I’ve been focusing on me and bettering myself. I’m growing and becoming the woman that I know I can be. It’s not easy. I’m just moving forward in my life. I don’t got no option but to go up. I’ve been going down for so long, it’s time to go up. I came a long way. I saw a picture of me crying during PSO and I’ve grown so much.
What about in your free time?
I love spending time with my friends and family. I also like shopping and just doing things I don’t get to do during the week, like: laundry, food shopping, talking on the phone. I like to try new restaurants. Also, I like to travel.
My mom, my brother, and my sister– my immediate family motivates me. They motivate me everyday because when I look at them I think about how much I’ve hurt them and now how I can do right by them and do good things for them. My little niece motivates me, she’s 8 and she looks up to me; it’s like I can’t do anything wrong in her eyes. I also motivate myself.
How did your time with PowerCorpsPHL impact you?
If it wasn’t for PowerCorps I would be a wreck. Just the support. I’m over here (Philadelphia) by myself now, taking care of myself. Joining PowerCorps, I felt the support, the friendship, the love, and the opportunity. I had people right behind me every step of the way. They helped me realize it’s never too late, there’s always a second chance. PowerCorpsPHL built my self esteem up, like y’all can’t tell me nothing now. I can see how much I transitioned from the beginning of PowerCorps to now. I can be around anyone without feeling any judgment. My Crew Leader, Ms. B, and Assistant Crew Leader, Stan, really helped me.
Now that you’re an alumni, what sort of involvement would you like to have with PowerCorpsPHL?
I love everybody in PowerCorpsPHL! I would still like to volunteer. I would like to tell my story to different girls who have been in the same boat as me, as far as self esteem. I want to stay in touch with PowerCorpsPHL.
What do you miss about PowerCorpsPHL? What don’t you miss?
I miss my friends… and well, everything. It’s different now that we’re not all working together. I miss my foundation, Cohort 5.
I don’t miss that pizza. I don’t miss working in the cold cutting those trees.
I hope to earn my degree in Early Childhood Education and have my own daycare. And maybe a nonprofit mentoring program for teenage girls. I hope to get married, have children. I want to move Hollywood.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Shout-out to the All Stars, Ms. B, Sway, Amirah, Cam–the first PowerCorpsPHL member I met, he kept me under his wing. Shout-out to Rasheed, Mr. Rocco, Ms. Shelley, both Nicoles! My new friend Troy, the Rec Hunters, Toriano, Mr. Mike, Mr. Drew, A.J., Ms. Margy, Julia, Ms. Kim, Ms. Wolfgang, Kalef, Bruce, Water Inc, Erica Atwood: that’s my mentor! She gets me, we are so similar. Annddd finally the City of Philadelphia!