Founder & CEO of Project Be Brave
Ashley Nicole was born and raised outside of Charlotte, NC. After experiencing some unfortunate childhood trauma she was placed in foster care and adopted into a Christian family. Growing up as a "PK" (Pastor's Kid) she spent much of her adolescent years at church participating in the music ministry, working with children and serving wherever she was needed. Although her faith in God was strong, there were moment throughout her life when it was challenged. She is a survivor of sexual abuse. Her experiences of abuse began as an adolescent and continued until she was 19 years old. A male family member raped her as a preschooler and because of this abuse she was placed in foster care and eventually adopted. After a few years with her new adopted family, her adopted father started molesting her around the age of 12. He was a very prominent Pastor/Leader in his community. Because of who he was, it made it harder for Ashley to find support. When she reached out for help, many did not believe her and the ones who did told her to keep it quiet.
In August of 2015, at the age of 30, Ashley disclosed and made declaration of freedom from the abuse. It was a victory that she had waited years to experience. However, her joyous celebration was cut short. Six days after disclosing, her adoptive father was found dead, in his home office, due to a self-inflicted gunshot would to the chest. It was a moment that would changed Ashley's life forever. His death was documented as an accident but Ashley does not believe that it was. There were many who believed his death was a suicide. When this happened, many people disowned her, including her adoptive mother and brothers. There were many who sent hate mail and articulated their disdain for her. She was blamed for his death by countless individuals and labeled a liar. Experiencing all of this, put her in a very low place and for months, following her fathers death, she struggled to see any hope or reason to keep living. Her heart was shattered and it seemed nearly impossible for the pieces to be reassembled. It was lowest moment of her life.
But Ashley didn't allow it to destroy her. After seeking therapy and working through her issues, she started to see how God was establishing her. He was making room for her experiences to help others in ways that she never expected. "I had to learn how to build from a low place. I took my pain and used it to help build other victims and survivors up. I wanted to be a beacon of hope and be an example of resilience," is what she shares with others. Her story of resilience is one that has truly helped others find their voice and begin the process of healing. It is Ashley's desire to see people evolve into the absolute best version of themselves. By continuing to advocate and fight for others, she is seeing it come in fruition.
As a member of the RAINN.org Speakers Bureau, Ashley tackles the subject of sexual abuse in an unconventional way.
Sharing her own experiences of abuse and how she gained victory over it, has birthed hope in others. She has spoken on a variety of platforms.
Ashley's desire to help others find healing led her to self-publish, Be Brave. In this book, she shares her story of abuse and offers tools and practical steps to overcoming and building from it. She has learned that her pain can serve a purpose much bigger than her.
A Darkness to Light Authorized Facilitator is an individual who has been trained to deliver the Stewards of Children® training program to adults, modeling the core principals of Stewards of Children® in their community by talking openly about child sexual abuse and engaging adults in discussion.