Ashley Rhodes-Courter

by Madeline from San Diego

Ashley Rhodes-Courter ( ())
Ashley Rhodes-Courter ( ())

"Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with" (Brodi Ashton). Ashley Rhodes-Courter was not blessed with many of the things that most people are. She was taken away from her family, abused, and ignored by almost everybody who ever took care of her. Still, she choose the path of helping others, which makes her a true hero. Ashley Rhodes-Courter was born in North Carolina in 1985 and spent 9 years in the foster care system. She was taken from her mother when she was only three years old, and put into the chaotic world of foster care. After spending the majority of her childhood in foster care, Ashley was finally adopted and currently works as an advocate for children who are still stuck the American Child Welfare System. Although Ashley could have given up on herself and her future, she chose to work through it and help other children who were struggling in foster care. Ashley Rhodes-Courter displayed her amazing bravery and astonishing devotion to the foster care system ever since she was a child, which makes her a genuine hero.

As Brodi Ashton once said, "Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with." Ashley Rhodes-Courter decided to choose the path of bravery and devotion in her difficult and traumatic childhood. She knew she didn't have the resources that most children did, but that didn't stop her on her journey to improve the foster care system. When she was put into foster care at age three, she soon realized that she would need to stand up for the other kids, so they wouldn't be abused or assaulted, and in turn, she would take the punishments herself. She also chose the path of devotion to helping improve the foster care system in any way she could. Ashley Rhodes-Courter inspires many people worldwide, including me, by displaying her attitude of devotion and her strong-willed mentality. She pushed through the toughest of times that most children don't have to endure, and she still kept up a fighting spirit of bravery and devotion. Ashley set, and still continues to set, an outstanding precedent about how people should work through hardships until they've accomplished what they've been seeking. She wants to inspire and encourage people to dedicate themselves to working to improve something that they strongly believe in, similar to how she continues to advocate for foster children. A hero is defined in many ways, but the way I define a hero is simple: Ashley Rhodes-Courter. When you display acts of bravery and devotion, and expect nothing in return, you are a true hero.

Works Cited

"American Humane Association Taps Ashley Rhodes-Courter as National Ambassador for Child Welfare."Entertainment Close-up 28 Jan. 2011. Biography in Context. Web. 28 Jan. 2015.

Ashton, Brodi. "Brodi Ashton Quotes." Brodi Ashton Quotes (Author of Everneath). Good Reads, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2015.

Buttice, Donna. "Ashley Rhodes-Courter -." Ashley RhodesCourter RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.

"Meet the Team." Foundation for Sustainable Families. Sustainable Families Foundation, 2013. Web. 09 Feb. 2015.

"Nutrition Profile." Adoption Nutrition RSS. Adoption Nutrition, 2015. Web. 09 Feb. 2015.

Rhodes-Courter, Ashley. Three Little Words: A Memoir. New York: Atheneum, 2008. Print.

Summers, Keyonna. "HOPEFUL DRAWS ON LIFE OF STRUGGLE; The Democratic newcomer and child welfare activist is a former foster child." Tampa Bay Times [St. Petersburg, FL] 6 Oct. 2012: 1. Biography in Context. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Ashley Rhodes-Courter is a hero because of the bravery she displayed during her time in foster care. When Ashley had just recently entered foster care, she was scared and often kept to herself to avoid confrontation. Soon, she realized she would have to stand up for herself and others in order to survive and avoid horrible abuse, physically and mentally. Her current agent for her book, Donna Buttice, explained, "Early in her life she felt compelled to advocate for herself and the other children she lived with, particularly in the abusive foster homes" (Buttice, Donna 2). This proves Ashley's bravery because she selflessly took the blame for the other kids in abusive foster homes, to spare them the abuse and beatings. She spoke up for the other kids, even when she knew it would entail in more suffering for her. Ashley Rhodes-Courter was often abused during her time in foster care and she was not afraid to share the stories after she was eventually adopted because she wanted to spread awareness about the torture she had to suffer through. The Tampa Bay Times described her abuse by saying, "She was denied food. She was beaten so hard with a spoon that she marveled at the red imprint, white where the holes had been, on her buttock. One time, she said, a foster mother shoved the sick girl's face into vomit" (Summers, Keyonna. 2). This proves that Ashley Rhodes-Courter is brave because she chose to live through the horrible abuse she suffered as a child, and then work on the behalf of all the children who are still suffering from these kinds of humilities in the foster care system. Although it would have been much easier for her to walk away from all the pain, she knew she had to do what she felt was right and work to improve the lives of children in the American foster care system. These examples show how Ashley Rhodes-Courter is a hero because she expressed a great deal of bravery during her time in foster care. She stood up for herself and others, and continues to advocate on the behalf of the children still stuck in the sometimes cruel world of foster care.

Ashley Rhodes-Courter proved herself a hero as she displayed her devotion in and out of foster care. Ashley Rhodes-Courter not only displayed bravery in her childhood, but currently shows devotion toward the foster care community that she will always be a part of. One source says,  "...her own vital work speaking out and advocating on behalf of the most vulnerable members of society" ("American Humane Association Taps Ashley Rhodes-Courter as National Ambassador for Child Welfare." 2). Ashley's devotion is recognized by Entertainment Close Up as they talk about how she serves her community and country by advocating for kids in the foster care system. They mention how she speaks for "the most vulnerable members of society" through her advocacy and creating awareness of issues in the American Child Welfare System. She devotes herself to making a change on big and small levels, as she travels around the world giving speeches, attending conferences, and visiting foster children who don't have anyone that cares for them, similar to the way she felt as a child. She wishes to give them hope by visiting and talking with them, and hopes that they will grow to believe they will be able to accomplish great things. Rhodes-Courter explained how she felt about the trial she was pursuing as a teenager. She told her adopted mother, "'I hope we go to trial,' I said, 'because even if I don't win anything, I'd like to be heard'" (Rhodes-Courter, Ashley 285). Ashley was devoted to making a change to the foster care system by filing a lawsuit against the neglect and abuse she suffered at the hands of the state. When she filed a lawsuit against the Department of Children and Families at 14 years old, she wasn't hoping to win any money or recognition, she simply wanted to be heard and make a change for the betterment of the foster care system. This shows devotion because even though she was out of the foster care system, she still felt the need to work to help kids that were still stuck in the system. Ashley Rhodes-Courter worked then, and she still works now to improve the system, as well as being a loving foster mother to abandoned children herself.

Page created on 2/12/2015 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 2/12/2015 12:00:00 AM

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