Who I am and what I do

Who I am is finally starting to be a question I know how to definitively answer, and as for what I do…well, that’s still evolving- which is why I am writing this blog!

My name is Ashley, and I am a PR girl on a mission. What my mission is might still be up for debate, but for simplification purposes we’ll say my mission is to be a successful non-profit public relations professional.

I recently graduated college and began my next big project: Life! I graduated from Hollins University in May 2008 and moved my little Florida grown derriere to the closest big city- Washington, D.C. Armed with my liberal arts education and my two closest friends as roommates, I was set to conquer the world!

Well, the world conquering didn’t happen quite the way I planned. After a month of working as a temporary administrative assistant with a rather massive and well-known defense firm, I was starting to lose hope about my world conquering aspirations. And then….

I was hired to do what I actually wanted to do! Public relations! Communications! Development! Hoo-ray! I began working for my current organization,  in late July. What do I do there? Well, let me give you the long and the short of it: I am the Communications Coordinator, so officially I am in charge of creating collateral materials including the newsletter, website, brochures; external and some internal communications such as letters and correspondence; development and fund raising, researching, target, and writing grants; and any other duties that randomly get assigned to me along the way. Unofficially? I’m the one-woman PR/Communications department.

You are probably wondering what my organization does, so I’ll give you a quick rundown of that as well, because it’s going to come up a lot in my blogging. My organization provides services and support to children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. This overall mission/purpose encompasses a large number of programs including residential, supported employment, a school for kids, after-school and summer programs for children, plus social and recreational activities. We are a community-based model, essentially meaning we strive to keep these individuals actively involved in the community- we are not a “center” or institution by any means. This is really fantastic and also really challenging at times, but overall it is a fabulous organization that is doing really amazing things and I’m thrilled to work there.

This blog is going to be my ramblings, stumblings, and general anecdotes on what it is like to be a young public relations professional- I welcome any suggestions, comments, story sharing, advice, or general responses you might have to whatever I may say along the way. 🙂 That’s about it for today- see you next time!

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