Success Stories

Ashley transformed childhood challenges to stability and community leadership in Lewiston

Woman with a smile and curly, shoulder-length dark hair in a red sweater, floral shirt, stands behind a fence

Ashley Medina’s childhood home was ravaged by a fire that left her family with nothing. Soon after, her brother was sent to a youth detention center. Yet, through it all, Ashley saw a glimmer of hope that she could achieve a good life, with personal stability.

After all, even though her family experienced huge lows, there was support. After the fire, the Lewiston community rallied around her family, providing for their basic needs. Then, her brother connected to a program at the detention center that gave him direction and help.

Without realizing it initially, Ashley now works for the same program that led her brother to stability. She landed a job at Goodwill’s Take 2 program. Take 2 helps at-risk youth learn new skills and give back to their community.

Early life experiences of surviving a house fire, combined with growing up in a marginalized neighborhood, inspired Ashley. She wanted to help people in her hometown of Lewiston, Maine. She went to college for human services and then immediately got to work.

In addition to working in Goodwill’s Workforce Services, Ashley is also a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). She will often do a shift as a Direct Support Professional in one of Goodwill’s homes. Goodwill has 22 group homes for people with disabilities who need care around the clock.

Through her work at Goodwill, Ashley volunteers as the President of Healthy Neighborhoods, a grassroots organization that promotes the health and welfare of people who live, work, and play in downtown Lewiston.

“It was through my job at Goodwill, I gained confidence, self-esteem and found my voice,” she said.

Using her voice for leadership in her community, Ashley also serves on the local school board. It is one way to hone her new skills. This is an elected position where she had to run a campaign. Further, as a single mom of two and a past student at the Lewiston schools, she is a rising star in her community and a role model to so many people.

Ashley has been with Goodwill for five years. She is grateful to Goodwill and the Take 2 team. We are thankful to Ashley and being a part of our Goodwill family.

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