Episode 15: “Service Is The Rent We Pay”- Ashlee Young

This week’s Leadership Tidbits with Coach Tee Wilson features the giving and service oriented Ashlee Young. 

Ms. Ashlee is committed to serving the community and lives by the words of Marian Wright Edelman, “Service is the rent we pay for living, it the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” Ashlee has been working in the public health field for many years now, and is committed to creating healthier environments for communities to thrive. 

Ashlee Young received her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion and Education from Wright State University and her Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from the Ohio State University. Ms. Young remains committed to using her skills to serve the community as she currently works at Stride Partnership as manager of community strategies. In this role she is responsible for designing and implementing efforts that mobilize and magnify community based assets; expertise and authority with the goal institutionalizing these practices to advance racial equity and social justice. Prior to joining Stride Partnerships she worked at The Child Poverty Collaborative as a program director and as an evaluation officer at Interact for Health. 

Ashlee has been fortunate to be able to serve her community through various leadership roles. She currently serves as Program Chair of National Urban League Young Professionals and former President of the Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Southwestern Ohio. She’s a former board member of The Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio and Children’s Hunger Alliance, and currently serves on the board at Design Impact and Mortar. In 2017, Ms. Young was appointed to the Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board where she serves on the Finance Committee.

Ashlee was recently honored by the Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Southwestern Ohio with an award named after her, “Ashlee Young Pillar of the Community Award.” Each year a young professional from the region will receive this award in honor of Ashley’s dedication and commitment to serving her community. Ashlee is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and the Queen City (OH) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. She thoroughly enjoys volunteering with these and other organizations in her community, but her favorite thing to do is spend time with her daughter Nila.

Right from the start, Ashlee started by telling us three things she believes has helped her not only get to her positions of leadership, but also what has helped keep her there. Those three things: Showing up into spaces by being her authentic self, being bold, and speaking truth to power. Ashlee also explained to us that her ability to speak up when needed and not just when prompted, has helped shape her service in the workplace and the community. As the show continued, Ashlee reminds listeners not to just be happy to be at the table, “If you’re not speaking out, then you’re not serving your purpose.” Continuing further into the interview, Ashlee shared with us what success and failure has taught her thus far. She explained that success has taught her to remain humble and not settle. She also says that success reminds her to never forget the bigger picture and the overall goal. She shared that failure has taught her to not be so critical of herself, “As black women, we wear so many hats. So when we drop something or feel like we failed, we dismiss everything we’ve achieved. That has taught me to look at failure as a learning opportunity.”

Overall, Ashlee Young dropped so many good leadership tidbits on this episode, here is a quick summary of a few: Don’t be afraid to ask for help as you achieve success, remember to remain humble and committed to the larger cause, don’t be so critical of yourself, formal and informal mentors and sponsors are important, don’t lose sight of why you are at the table, and while you’re leading you have to speak up but you also need to listen as well. In addition, have your own personal board of directors in your life, those people who will affirm you but also tell you the truth. These people will help you navigate your career but also be there and serve as champions for you. 

Be sure to check out the full podcast to hear more of Ashlee’s thoughts and leadership advice!!

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