Since her first National Keynote at age 14, Ashley Rhodes-Courter has shared her story with thousands in the United States and in over 7 countries.

Ashley Rhodes-Courter, MSW, is the quintessential American success story. Born in 1985 to a single teen mother, by the age of 3 she was in Florida’s foster care system where she spent almost ten years being shuttled between 14 homes—some quite abusive—before being adopted from a Children’s Home at the age of twelve.

Despite her ordeal, she excelled in school because she believed that, “my education was the one thing nobody could take from me.” Early in her life she felt compelled to advocate for herself and the other children she lived with, particularly in the abusive foster homes.

Her efforts and academic achievements landed her Eckerd College’s Trustee Scholarship where she graduated with honors and ahead of schedule earning a double major in Communications and Theater and a double minor in Political Science and Psychology. Ashley then went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California.

During her undergraduate studies, she was one of 20 college students selected for the USA Today All-USA Academic Team and was named one of GLAMOUR Magazine’s Top Ten College Women. She was also selected as one of the four Golden BR!CK Award winners for outstanding advocacy for community change by DoSomething!. As part of their campaign, she was featured on 25 million bags of Cool Ranch Doritos.

By the age of 22, Ashley had become a New York Times Bestselling Author. Her first book, “Three Little Words” is now an International Bestseller and has been published in at least 4 countries. Her second book, “Three More Words” debuted at #1 on Amazon Bestseller’s List. Both books are used in classrooms across the country in various community and First Year Experience Collegiate programs.

Ashley has received State, local, and National awards for her speaking, advocacy, and philanthropy. She has spoken on Capitol Hill and has been invited to the White House twice. “Three Little Words” is now being made into a major motion picture.


“The buzz after the luncheon was palpable ~ our guests love Ashley! She is a brilliant speaker who tells a tragic story is a poignant way yet keeps you in stitches. Brilliant! And, on a personal level, I truly enjoyed meeting such a warm and engaging young woman. I so wish she lived closer ~ I’d love to take her to lunch to thank her, celebrate her and get to know her a little better.”


On behalf of all of us here at Pendleton Place, THANK YOU for being such an integral part of a very successful day! We’ve received so many compliments and messages of positive feedback about this morning’s benefit breakfast including high praise for your ability to share such a critical message in an accessible way (with plenty of humor inserted to keep us all smiling!). It was our honor to host you, and your words have already done much for the children and families we serve. If you are ever in our neighborhood in the future, we’d love for you to stop by our campus and check out what we’re up to!



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