The definition of a mentor is an individual who may share with a mentee information about his or her's own career path as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling. A mentor may also help with exploring careers, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources. Ashley Harper has powerfully been a trail blazing pioneer encompassing all of these attributes characterizing a mentor and more, for most of her entire life. Born and raised in North Carolina to military Army veteran parents, Ashley was raised to be a hard worker and always help those in need along the way as an act gratitude and selflessness from living a life so blessed. To be noted, the American Psychological Association (A.P.A.) lists the Characteristics Of An Effective Mentor as:
1. Valuing the mentee as a person.
2. Developing a mutual trust and respect.
3. Maintaining confidentiality.
4. Listening to what is being said and how it is being said.
5. Helping the mentee solve his or her own problem, rather than give direction.
6. Focusing on the mentee's development and resisting the urge to produce a clone.
Ashley's faith-driven leadership through community service, compassion, and mentorship as a consistent, valuable role model has been her steadfast "purpose." She lives by the montra of, "To whom much is given, much is expected;" and never sells herself short of sharing as much of her time, attention, and knowledge to servicing the community positively through community service, mentoring and leadership.
Part of the primary reason Ashley found the genuine urge to positively influence the best way that she knew how was through her champion rooted pageant career. Many of the pageant titles that Ashley won both locally and within her state, would require mandatory community service that would include appearances, performances, parades, relays, fundraisers, hospital and senior home visits, and leadership through mentoring.
As she continued to grow up competing and winning in pageants, her knowledge, compassion, and hard work never went unnoticed by her adoring sister queens; nor from onlookers to supporters alike. To meet the need of the pageant demand, she started her own business at 13, "Ashley's Ace's," to train and mentor other aspiring competitors, both younger and older than Ashley herself. She even selected as her hometown's honorary and very 1st Miss Garner Outstanding Teen for the Miss N.C. America Organization Scholarship Program and closely mentored the Garner scholarship program's very first state competitor in all areas of success for winning both onstage and in life. She shared her knowledge of hard work and stage winning choreography; but primarily wanted to lead and impact their lives as positively as she possibly could.
College brought Ashley Harper even more opportunities to foray into her field of coaching, positive role modeling, and mentoring. While she attended North Carolina Central University for a Bachelor's in Science, she utilized her abundant resume of community leadership to become a cheerleader, student ambassador and a member of the student government. Simultaneously, she juggled a tough student athlete and academic schedule, while volunteering with her best friend at the Boys & Girls Club of Raleigh, N.C. as a track coach and mentor.
When Ashley translocated across the country to Denver, Colorado in continuance of higher education in the areas of graduate studies at Metropolitan State University in downtown Denver, a new world of possibility evolved for Ashley to also continue leadership and community service through coaching and mentoring. Ashley immediately became involved on campus outside of her challenging academia as a mentor and tutor to homeless at-risk youth living in state owned foster care.
Ashley and her classmate saw a need for social justice awareness in inner city and urban areas for children to learn how to become more eco conscious. They began a school, and then ultimately an abundant and "open-to-all" community organization named, L.O.C.A.L., which stands for Local Organic Community Awareness Lounge. The programs main mission is to share information through growth and knowledge on all of the social, economic, scientific, and demographic injustices plaguing our societies today through growing organic local gardens within inner and urban city food deserts, teaching kids composting and recycling, showing films and holding guest speakers with prominence visit for conversation and dialogue. Ashley aims to successfully relaunch her program on the East Coast by the Spring of 2022.
After college, Ashley was selected as an instructor and mentor for the International Performing Arts Academy in Denver for children ages 5-17 in the courses of Acting 101 and Modeling 101. Partnered with instructor Julie Gallahue, Ashley successfully mentored and graduated 80 kids successfully out of the program and into whatever dream career job; preparing them for not only a stage and lights; but poised for all of life's perils and triumphs with confidence and self-esteem that they tried hard and did the very best that they could in any of life's situations, EVERY time.
Ashley Harper migrated cross country again after her stint on the t.v. show, The Bachelor, back to her very familiar roots of the South to Atlanta, Georgia; after being hired as a regular church member on Oprah Winfrey Network's Greenleaf. She again, wasted no time to "find her purpose," and immediately became heavily involved as a key volunteer mentor in the mentoring program, Chocolate Gurls Mentoring Academy; created by Mrs. Monique Edwards at Stronghold Christian Church in Lithonia, Georgia. Chocolate Gurls mentoring specializes in monthly meetings and activities pertaining to the overall health, growth, and wellness of Black Princesses ages 5-17.
Today, Ashley continues to forge ahead lighting the way for all to measure just how much it cost to take the time to become a mentor. Multi-faceted, real, hard working and consistency makes the best kind of mentor and that is exactly what Ashley Harper has countered her entire life as an award-winning coach and mentor to dozens of children nationwide. Ashley has no plan on stopping her outstretched, widespread mentoring mission until she positively influences ALL on the mainstream globally, but in particular; it is Ashley's aim to reach the Black and Brown underpriveledged children who have a voice but are not born with the time, attention, care, and concern that we all deserve but are not entitled to. It is Ashley's personal mission to continue to work hard and reach the world's greatest stage not in self-vanity or righteousness; but as a living testimony by Grace through Faith that ALL things are possible by God; we just have to be willing to work hard and remain humble.