Ashley Marine is a proud social worker whose passion is rooted in building community with young people. Ashley received her undergraduate degree from Xavier University. She studied abroad in Kumasi, Ghana, where she collaboratively provided street education with girls engaged in migrant labor work. Ashley continued her studies at the University of Chicago, receiving a master’s degree in social service administration and completed her field work as a Jessica Eve Patt intern at Chicago Foundation for Women. These experiences sparked a lifelong passion for sharing multicultural spaces and building power with women and girls that continues to fuel her work today.

Ashley was GirlForward’s first formal hire, brought to turn a collection of ideas into action and results for girls. As Deputy Director, she has supported numerous initiatives such as a successful expansion to Austin, TX, the creation of a girl advisory board, and the challenging transition to virtual programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mentoring Program is perhaps the best testament to Ashley’s exceptional, transformative leadership. The program boasts a 100% high school graduation rate and has over 75 matches currently exploring their passions and building lifelong bonds.

Ashley also spends time fostering creativity with youth as a dance teacher at All About Dance, as well as facilitating workshops with Northwestern’s Civic Education Project. Ashley served on the Advisory Board for Loyola University’s Center for Experiential Learning and taught a course on Community-Based Service and Leadership with a focus on refugee rights. Above all, Ashley is proud of the deep connection with girls, families, and the broader GirlForward community.

The Impact Award honors three leaders working to improve the lives of women and girls by expanding economic security, ensuring freedom from violence, and/or enhancing access to health services and information.