Rebekah Ashley is the Senior HR Advisor and Chief Diversity Officer for the University of Michigan Office of Research. She holds degrees from both Eastern Michigan University and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Her life story could be very different without the help of United Way’s 211.
Her life changed when she became a single mother after a relationship ended. Her son was 6 months old and at that time, she was attending school part time and working part time. She moved in with her Grandmother, began going to school full time and working full time, all the while raising her son! As you may imagine, time, energy and money became scarce and stress and frustration set in. Her Grandma suggested she call 2-1-1, a United Way service that provides 24/7 help and support. The 2-1-1 agent connected her to programs that helped her family with food, Warm the Children for clothing, and Head Start for childcare education.
Rebekah’s personal experiences coupled with her work experience at Lakeshore Legal Aid in Wayne County made her an exemplary choice for her role of United Way campaign captain at the University of Michigan. From her experience, she understands what it’s like when people have limited resources. She has been sharing her story for 10 years with over 18 Units within her division at the University of Michigan. She feels it is important to tell her story to eliminate stigmas associated with people who may need a helping hand. She says” when you help people it puts them in the position to give back!” And she has given back in tremendous ways!
In addition to volunteering her time and energy in her role as an United Way captain at UofM, she has been a donor to United Way since 2004. Her attendance at United Way events is one more way she shares her enthusiasm. Thank you Rebekah for your support of the United Way of Washtenaw County and for sharing your story!