I speak to a lot of people every day, a few like Ashley Mosley. There are so many people I meet who are just doing what they do. Many times they do not realize how much one admires them because they are doing so much, doing essential things others are not, or just outright making a difference in people's lives sometimes unbeknownst to them.
I have been saying for some time that I would aggregate videos and blogs I have done with people I encounter into a series called "People Making A Difference." Well, after meeting Ashley Mosley, I decided to start working on it.
Ashley Mosley has become a regular at my local Kingwood Texas Starbucks. She heard my accent and asked if I spoke Spanish. I think she may have heard me speaking to a Venezuelan activist earlier as well. She told me she spoke fluent Spanish as well and said her daughter was learning the language and is fairly fluent.
Later we would talk about the American obsession with English only. We are likely the only country with a distinct sect who sees multilingualism as less than acceptable.
I was intrigued by this black Spanish-speaking American woman living in Acres Home intent on having her daughter immerse in Spanish. I wanted to hear her story, so I popped out my Pixel and asked her if she would tell her story on camera. Shocked, she said sure.
Ashley Mosley speaks it and does it
Ashley explained that she took Spanish courses in middle-school and college. Spending time in Spain was advantageous to her fluency as well. She was intent on having her daughter share the same experiences as she understands that this would be a better world with multilingual people.
Ashley told me she lives in Acres Home, paused, and then said, "Yes, the hood," as if to shock me. It didn't "shock," it impressed. She said her decision was intentional not to leave even after completing her studies at the University of Houston.
I love the response Ashley Mosley gave me when I asked her what made her stay in Acres Home.
"Be the change that we want to see in the world," Ashley said. "I love kids. There are kids that may not get the opportunity and experiences. So I want to be that person that -- 'Oh wow, she's college educated. She speaks several languages. And she's here. She didn't leave.'
Ashley went on to say she feels a responsibility to give back. She's worked on the Acres Home Super Neighborhood Council. She points out that giving back is more than financial. She said the way you make meaning and show people is by being and shopping in the neighborhood.
"I love my community," Ashley said. "And if I stay there hopefully more people will take that idea and want to stay with me. And that is the way we can help uplift and build the community as much as we love other people to come in and solve our own problems. That sometimes isn't always the answer. Sometimes it's 'Pull yourself up by the bootstraps.' ... That's my thought. I am going to stay here. I am going to be involved with my daughter. be involved in the community, and show people I do, love where I live."
Ashley Mosley and her commitment to her community are inspiring. I think it is a great motivator to be better and make wherever one resides better. She is right, change starts with us effecting that change.
PS: And she listens to and loves my show Politics Done Right.