Skip to Content

Ashley’s Story

Ashley on graduation day with her mother and AFC Jesuit Volunteer Corps member Amy Harris.

Ashley is a hard-working 19-year-old who faced numerous obstacles on the path to graduation. AFC’s Project Achieve—our project serving students involved in the child welfare system—met Ashley and her siblings through our partnership with Cardinal McCloskey Services, a child welfare agency in the Bronx. The family had moved to New York City from Pennsylvania while Ashley was in high school, and unbeknownst to Ashley, some of the course credits she had earned in Pennsylvania did not transfer. Her senior spring, having passed all of the Regents exams required for a diploma, Ashley thought she was on track to graduate when her school told her for the first time that she did not have enough credits in the right subject areas. In addition to this demoralizing setback, Ashley took on significant responsibilities at home as her family dealt with financial difficulties, housing instability, and medical problems, and by the end of the year, she had stopped attending school.

In September, AFC helped Ashley enroll in a transfer school, a public high school for older students who have struggled at other schools, that was close to the shelter in Brooklyn where she and her family were now living. Ashley’s new school provided the small, supportive environment she needed, and AFC continued to advocate with school staff to ensure she didn’t fall through the cracks due to instability at home. We are proud to report that Ashley successfully earned the remaining credits she needed, completed an internship obtained through her school, and finally received her diploma in June 2015!