Ashley graduating from the Adult Career Training Program in June 2019

Our workspaces say a lot about us. Whether it’s family photos, awards or even a calendar, we’re intentional about what inspires us each day at work. Ashley Headworth has a small, framed card that says ‘You Got This’ on her desk at Hope Network.

It was presented to her by WMCAT at graduation last June. And it’s a daily reminder of all she has accomplished and all she will accomplish in the future.

Today she is a billing collections specialist at Hope Network. (UPDATE: Since this story was published in the Winter 2020 WMCAT Newsletter, Ashley was promoted to Medical Coder at Hope Network; less than 6 months after starting with the organization.)

“WMCAT provided me with a lifetime of possibility to make choices, and courage – courage to fight for it.”

Shawn Dunbar (left), Ashley Headworth (middle), Shamarie Johnson-Cook (right, also a WMCAT graduate) are co-workers at Hope Network

Ashley had plenty of courage coming into WMCAT. She inspired WMCAT staff, students, and others around her as she continued her training, determined to complete the program and to receive her certification.

“Ashley was such an amazing student,” expressed Rebecka DeRoos, WMCAT medical coding instructor. “She was in class every day, ready to learn. She started the program pregnant, had a baby in March and was back to class a week later. She was supportive and helpful with the other students. She worked so hard and embraced [all aspects of the program] in order to become the best version of herself.

As a proud employee of Hope Network, a nonprofit which provides healthcare and life services to 23,000 people in Michigan each year, Ashley soon discovered that the people she worked with were supportive, “they picked up where WMCAT left off,” she explained. She shared that the organization really takes care of others – something that drives her in her position.

“Now I don’t need to step away from my job to enjoy my day. I never thought I could do that.”

Ashley at the 2019 WMCAT graduation with her family.

What’s next for Ashley? She will be catching her breath after a courageous year, “first, I just want to live,” she laughed. Ashley will be taking time to enjoy her family, catch up on her passion for writing, settle into her new role at Hope Network, and continue her journey to income security.

“I can’t wait to see what my financial stability will do for my family … But I also feel important. I feel like I have worth – worth to society, to my family – all because of WMCAT.”

You Got This, Ashley.

Ashley at Hope Network with the frame she keeps on her desk from WMCAT’s graduation