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Impact  >  Student Story


Ashley and Pam.jpg

When Ashley was arrested in 2018, she thought her life was over. She spent almost two years in the Durham County Detention Facility awaiting trial and decided that she would spend that time studying to get her high school equivalency diploma. She previously tried unsuccessfully to finish her diploma and decided to give it another try when she was incarcerated. 


Ashley became a mother when she was 16 years old and dropped out of high school. She said at her graduation ceremony in fall 2019, “I felt incomplete because I knew I couldn’t be successful without an education.” 


“I met my teacher, Ms. Pam Gray, and for two hours a day, two days a week, Ms. Gray taught me everything I needed to know in order for me to graduate. She encouraged me when I didn’t understand something, she enlightened me when I was down, she made me laugh when I literally cried because I couldn’t get the answer right. She didn’t give up on me and was very patient with me, giving me her undivided attention, and she even spent one-on-one time with me over time to study so I would pass each test.” 


Ashley received her high school equivalency diploma in the fall of 2019 and was able to walk in our graduation ceremony at the DCDF. At the graduation ceremony, Ashley gave a moving speech saying “Now I’m able to make my daughter proud of me, and I can finally close this chapter in my life, so God can open up a new one.” The DLC’s staff are honored to have been a part of Ashley’s journey and wish her success in all of her future endeavors! 

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