Written by Denise Miller, Firesteel Advocacy Manager
Ashley Danielson attended five different elementary schools while her family experienced homelessness, bouncing from staying in motels to doubling up with relatives to living in the family car.
She missed most of the fourth grade.
“We were moving, and there were so many things to do and I just couldn’t go to school,” Ashley tells her former case manager from Cocoon House, Marty Shaw, in the newest story produced from the “Finding Our Way” StoryCorps project. Listen to it here:
Despite so many hardships, Ashley was determined to continue her education.
“I know I’m on the right path,” she said when she recorded her StoryCorps conversation in the summer of 2014.
A year later, I’m happy to report that Ashley has graduated from high school, and is planning to start college this fall. She will study to become a teacher.
Hear more stories
Listen to some of the 25 other StoryCorps “Finding Our Way” stories, and please share them with your networks. Here are a few related to education:
- Educator Dinah Ladd, formerly a homeless education liaison for Seattle Public Schools, reflects on serving unstably housed students.
- College student Solomon Muche talks about studying for the SAT while living in a shelter with his family.
- 11-year-old Maggie Warner shares how living in a car affects her ability to do her schoolwork.