Meet our Specialist of the Month winner for April, Ashley Carter, an in-school specialist, from Capital Area Michigan Works! at Waverly High School. Ashley has been a Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) specialist for about two years and has made a difference in the lives of the youth she serves. We asked several questions so you can get to know her better:
Why did you become a JMG specialist?
I’ve always had a passion for helping others, and I believe that assisting youth can make a big impact on their future.
What inspires you about your job?
The youth I work with inspire me with how resilient they are and how they are able to overcome their challenges and barriers.
Recall a favorite memory about being a specialist. (an event, a youth accomplishment, etc.)
Last year at the CDC one of the youth I work with was absolutely overwhelmed and terrified to do the mock interview once she saw how many people were at the event. Her fellow JMG youth immediately stepped in and comforted her, helped to calm her down, and encouraged her to do the mock interview even though she was scared. She went in there and did an amazing job! She was all smiles when she came out. I could tell that she was really proud of herself and I was so proud of her and her classmates for persevering.
What is one of the greatest challenges you face in your job?
One of the greatest challenges that I face is making sure that the youth that I work with have access to the resources and support that they need to succeed. Every young person deserves the best.
What is one of the greatest highlights/joys of your job?
There are so many joys in this job. My favorite moments are when my students are proud of themselves for accomplishing something. Seeing their confidence grow as they reach milestones and overcome obstacles is very rewarding.
Why do you think JMG is so important for youth?
I think that JMG is important because young people are going through a major transitional time in their lives and having that extra support and guidance can really make a difference in their future.
Share your hobbies, do you have any pets, what do you like to do in your spare time, etc:
I love music and I play the violin as a hobby in my spare time. I also love animals, and have two cats of my own.
A couple random facts to get to know you better:
I volunteer and foster animals for the local animal shelter. I love traveling and trying new foods.
Fun fact: One of my bucket list items is to swim with sharks!
Nominations are open to ALL, including our employer partners! If you know a phenomenal specialist, we encourage you to nominate them as our May Specialist of the Month.
Nominate a specialist who deserves to be recognized, here.