Ashley King is the 21st century program director for Communities in Schools North Texas. Communities in Schools is a program geared to assist at-risk students to completion of high school.
In a small office in Lewisville TX, in a quaint cubicle on the second floor, Ashley King works to transform at-risk children’s lives with the help of Communities in Schools of North Texas. As program director, King oversees eight after-school programs centered around dropout prevention in elementary, middle school and high school campuses.
“I’ve always had a passion for working with at-risk kids,” she said. “This job is a good fit for me, because I like to be challenged and I like change and I get to experience that here.”
King grew up with both of her parents in a middle- class home. She describes her life as “pretty normal.” Her mother a teacher, her father works in an oil field, as an adolescent, King was very active in her church participating in local and international mission trips.
In high school King realized she was passionate about the youth and decided she would pursue her dreams of developing the minds of at-risk students.
“I knew I wanted to work with the youth, I just didn’t know at what capacity.”
After two months of being unemployed, she was offered a job to work as a house parent to middle school and high school girls, in a behavioral management children’s facility. This was King’s first experience working with at-risk youth.
“I did that for three and a half year and that developed a huge passion to work with the at-risk kids and to work with the adolescent age,” she said.
“I had no idea that’s what I wanted to do, I knew who I wanted to serve, but It didn’t matter to me in what capacity or where.”
After leaving the children’s home, King was hired as a cite leader for Communities in School. As a cite leader she was responsible for one campus. Two and a half years later, King was promoted to program director.
The programs King directs are centered at building programs for students at-risk, with the aid of grant funding, to provide homework help to students, academic tutoring, schools supplies, enrichments such as dance and technology clubs and a college readiness program.
“We try to bring a lot of resources into the program to give students the opportunity to have some fun but also to learn different things that they might not be able to learn or get to play with,” she said.
“My favorite part of my job is watching kids transform through our programs,” she said. “And to see that our programs really do work, they really provide them a lot of hope for the future and that’s what I love about my job.”