Seattle’s Child is proud to partner with the state Department of Children, Youth and Families Strengthening Families Washington to honor outstanding caregivers doing important work on behalf of children. Throughout February, we’ll introduce you to Unsung Heroes from around the state: biological parents, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents. Some volunteer at local schools; some have started nonprofits; some mentor others in their communities. Enjoy the stories of 2024’s unsung heroes.
NOTE: Seattle’s Child is running these stories are proofed as written by the people who nominated heroes, in keeping with the DCYF Unsung Hero process.
Ashley Elaine Cox, Olympia
Ashley has been in the community working for change since she was a teenager.
She became a new mom in April 2020, just as the world shut down. Ashley has resiliency in spades, but like so many of us, we don’t see our strength until we are forced into rough patches. The isolation of early motherhood was exponentially harder due to the pandemic, but it lit a passion in Ashley for community and started her journey to make things better for her daughter and all children.
In 2022, she went to Washington D.C. to the presidential conference to fight hunger and now she works with the National Center for Child Abuse Prevention as a member of the FRIENDS advisory group.
Child abuse is 100% preventable and Ashley understands that preventing child abuse is so much more than just feeding kids. She is learning about the protective factors that were built in her family and reinforcing them for her child. But more than that, she wants her daughter to grow up in a world with protective factors built into the fabric of our systems.
For Ashley, it’s her community that has always given her strength, so she is doing all she can to build a stronger community that bridges silos and has room for everyone. She’s an unsung hero because, at her heart, she wants every child to grow up in a home with protective factors. And she is working hard to make that happen.
— Natasha Fecteau Minger