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Meet Specialist Ashley Fanson

Ashley Fanson is changing the lives of young people by re-engaging them in education and helping them prepare and set goals to achieve a future beyond imagination. We asked Ashley nine questions to get to know her better and learn what inspires her about her job:

Why did you become a JMG Specialist?

I came from a background in Human Resource Management and Support Services in a college setting. When I saw the job posting for a JMG Specialist and interviewed for the position, it felt like the perfect blend of my past experience and a job in which I could make a difference in the lives of youth.

How long have you been a JMG Specialist?

I became a JMG Specialist on February 17, 2020.

What program/school?

Out of School Program through GST Michigan Works!, run by Family Literacy Center.

What inspires you about your job?

The most inspiring thing to me is when a student experiences success. Whether it’s big or small, I love seeing the sense of accomplishment and pride on their faces!

Recall a favorite memory as a specialist.

One of my favorite memories as a Specialist was seeing two of my youth participate in Legislative Day. I was so proud of their poise and preparation. Even the legislators we met with complimented them, saying that he would hire them if they went into public service!

What is one of the greatest challenges you face in your job?

One of my greatest challenges as a Specialist is engaging with youth who don’t have the technology necessary to work remotely. I work in a rural area of Michigan, and many students don’t have access to high-speed internet or computers.

What is one of the greatest highlights/joys of your job?

One of the greatest joys of being a Specialist is celebrating accomplishments with students. When they’ve worked so hard to achieve their goals, nothing feels better than celebrating that!

Why do you think JMG is so important for youth?

JMG is important for youth because it gives them a leg-up in a world that can be scary. It helps them create a plan and break that plan down into a manageable roadmap for their own success. I have so many students who tell me they don’t feel like they would’ve accomplished as much without the JMG Program, and I just feel honored to be able to be a part of that.

Share your hobbies, do you have any pets, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Besides my JMG students, I don’t have any children. However, I have 3 cats named Goose, Archie, and Buster. In my free time, I enjoy kayaking with friends and playing on a trivia league.


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