Ohio Radio Host Helps Others Find their Power and Purpose

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." That powerful sentence written by American literary figure Mark Twain suggests that the work of finding one’s purpose in life—or our why—actually takes real effort and intentionality. 

For UpTogether member Ashlee Williams, that journey began in her childhood and now she is positioned to spend the next phase of her life leading, pushing, and inspiring others in her Cincinnati community to reach deep inside of themselves to really know who they are and to find their true path in life.

Never short on motivation, Ashlee currently hosts a weekly radio show called “Where’s Your Heart, Family,” where she ignites courage and fearlessness in her listeners. She is also a published author of “Words of a Woman. Tears of a Child,” a book of original poetry. She has plans for an app, “Queen’s Journey,” that will house videos, devotionals, podcasts, and merchandise so she can support her family and more.

When asked “Who is Ashlee?” she responded forcefully with, “Well I am a woman who was raised by a woman who was raised by a man.” Her words are vividly understood when you learn a key fabric of her life’s story.

Ashlee’s father tragically passed away in a car accident when she was only eight years old and being raised by her mother and her grandfather provides the context for who she is, what she’s experienced and who she hopes to be for herself and others in the future.

At the age of 24 — lost, angry, and sad over her father’s death and in some ways ashamed of being a single mom of two kids — Ashlee consumed a near-lethal amount of alcohol and sleeping pills in a bid to end her life and escape the shame and disappointment of “becoming a statistic.” It was this unsuccessful suicide attempt on March 31, 2011, coupled with the loss of a close friend in an accident on that exact same day, which caused Ashlee to pause, take inventory of her past and commit herself to creating a better future for herself and her kids with intentionality, passion and absolutely without fear.

Since that time — due to her determination and with the support of her community and organizations like UpTogether — Ashlee and her kids overcame an 8-month stint where they experienced poverty.

She is now fully committed to proving stereotypes wrong, showing people she can go beyond the limits of what many people believe her financial situation makes her capable of achieving.  And she’s helping others at the same time. She’s even planted seeds for the funding of a community Resource Arts Center. Ashlee feels this center will allow community members to explore creative expression as a tool to address generational traumas, counter self-imposed limitations and discover their hidden talents and abilities.

Ashlee is a true example of how a singular person’s resiliency can be the catalyst for an entire family—or community — to make purposeful progress in life. Ashlee has created a legacy that is both rich and enduring.



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