Ashley Rhodes-Courter Named American Humane Association’s National Ambassador for Child Welfare

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WASHINGTON - Ashley Rhodes-Courter, author of a New York Times bestselling memoir that describes her life in the foster care system, will serve as American Humane Association’s National Ambassador for Child Welfare in 2011. In this role, Rhodes-Courter, 25, will support American Humane Association’s and her own vital work speaking out and advocating on behalf of the most vulnerable members of society.

“Ashley Rhodes-Courter is a true testament to the American values of compassion, caring and hope,” said American Humane Association President and Chief Executive Officer Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D. “Working together will be an effective and productive partnership for all of us, and especially for those we serve. We know we can change the world and advance humanity by protecting children and animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. And we are delighted to have someone as passionate, accomplished and inspiring as Ashley working alongside us in that mission.”

“Since I grew up in foster care, I know firsthand what it’s like to be a voiceless victim,” said Rhodes-Courter. “American Humane Association provides services, tools and resources to families and groups that serve our most vulnerable — children and animals. I am thrilled to be a part of the work American Humane Association is doing because, without their efforts, thousands of other children and animals would have no one else to speak up for them and no place to call ‘home.’”

Rhodes-Courter spent almost 10 years in foster care, living in 14 placements before being adopted at age 12. In 2008, Simon & Schuster published her memoir, “Three Little Words,” which quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Her book has received many national and local awards and has been used in classrooms across the country. She has a passion to tell her story and share hope with other foster children and encourage adoption and permanency, and she has been featured on many national and local television shows.

Nationally, she serves on several child welfare boards, such as Children Without a Voice USA (Atlanta) and Family Focus Adoption Services (New York). In her local community, she works with several organizations, including the Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco, and she is a guardian ad litem volunteer (or court-appointed special advocate [CASA]) and licensed foster parent. She is also a youth advocacy ambassador for Levi’s® Shape What’s to Come — an online, global community for women that offers opportunities to exchange ideas, collaborate, and provide support to one another.

About American Humane Association

Since 1877, the historic American Humane Association has been at the forefront of every major advancement in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty and abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society. As the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals, American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.

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