Gift of Love: Ashley, Teenager Needs Encouragement - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/28/06 - Tyler

Gift of Love: Ashley, Teenager Needs Encouragement

One of the hardest times growing up can be those teenage years. It can be even harder for a teenage foster child, lacking that stability and encouragement. Here is Ashley's story in KLTV 7's Gift of Love report.

The perfect outing for 15 year old Ashley is a camping trip, her next favorite is an afternoon at "Michael's Arts and Crafts" in Tyler.

"I like crosses. I'm a big fan of anything with crosses," says Ashley walking down an aisle at Michael's making her selections. She especially enjoys making necklaces and bracelets with beads.

Ashley is very polite and friendly. This once shy girl has begun to blossom and open up. She is giving and caring despite a great lose in her young life. "My mom passed away in 2003. It has been hard on me, very hard."

Ashley's foster dad, Chris, says, "I think what's helped my wife and I is just basically being there for Ashley. You know just letting her know it's OK to grieve and in Ashley's case that's the only reason she's in care is because of a death."

Feeling alone, Ashley was left with a step father she didn't get along with very well. "I was removed March 16th of last year. It's been a life changing thing. It's been really weird, like going from one school to another. The hardest part was making new friends," says Ashley.

Despite the uncertainty, Ashley has worked hard in school making A's and B's. She especially enjoys reading. Her goal is to go to college and become a nurse. "Because it was something that my mother liked to do and I like to help people."

While Ashley misses her mother dearly, she's ready for a new family. "I want a family that will actually take care of me and love me for me. A family that I'll be able to get a long with."

This is a big year for Ashley, she is looking forward to getting her drivers license, but she knows the vehicle that will drive her down the road to happiness, is the Gift of Love.

"I want to have a life that I can live. That I like and I love. Actually what I'd like to do, I'd like a family to call my own."

If you'd like information on Ashley call our Gift of Love hotline, toll free, 1-888-kids-275.

Gillian Sheridan reporting.

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