Get to know Foley High School alumna Ashley Kilpatrick!
Where were you born and what year did you graduate from Foley High School?
I was born in Gadsden, AL and graduated from Foley High School in 2005.
Did you participate in any extracurricular activities? Were you any good?!
I was a JV and varsity cheerleader, and also on the co-ed competition cheer squad where we competed in different cities and states. I have to be honest, we were pretty darn good!
Did you go to college, business, or technical school after graduation?
Yes, I graduated from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. I majored in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Child Life.
What sort of jobs have you done since graduation? Do you have a favorite?
After completing my clinical child life internship at Children’s Hospital Colorado, I moved to Seattle, WA for my first job at Seattle Children’s Hospital. While in Seattle, I worked in the Hematology/Oncology Clinic, Brain Tumor Clinic, Proton Therapy Center, and provided hospital wide coverage on Saturdays. After working in Seattle for a few years, I decided to move closer to home and currently work at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the general Pediatric Unit.
In case you were wondering….
As a child life specialist, I help promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expressive activities. I also provide psychosocial support to patients and families and encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging healthcare experiences. I am also specially trained to talk to patients and/or siblings about death and dying while also providing a variety of resources that help the patient and family through a very difficult time.
I do not have a favorite hospital, but the best part of my job is seeing children overcome difficult hospital experiences with new-found coping skills and confidence.
If you hadn’t become a _____, what might you have done?
Right now I feel that being a child life specialist is the best fit for me. However, I have a true love for working with the organization, Operation Smile. After my medical mission last year in Kenya, I would love to travel the world with volunteer medical teams and help children through cleft lip and palate repairs. Too bad you can’t do that as a profession and get paid!
What life lessons has adversity taught you?
Life lessons that I have learned over the years…We all have a choice in everything we do, and it’s okay to have your own opinions. Also, failure is good and shows that you have tried. Learn from it and move on.
What are one or two things you really miss about high school?
I miss seeing my best friends every single day.
Who was the person who most influenced you and how?
This is a tough one. Many of my favorite teachers have left FHS now, but two that I know are still there are Mrs. Champion and Mrs. Maurin. Mrs. Champion taught me that I can make a difference in other people’s lives, especially children. Mrs. Maurin taught me to keep moving forward and to learn from failure. I definitely wouldn’t have made it through business statistics and calculus without the foundation she provided me with in high school.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Actually, my best friend from elementary/high school and I are heading to South Africa next week for a safari. Next up will be Thailand or Australia.
What is one thing you would encourage high school students to do before they graduate?
Take ACT prep classes, get your grades/GPA up, visit colleges, and attend any and all functions that will help prepare you for college and potential careers.
The best advice you would give a 20-year-old would be?
Stand up for yourself and do what you love.
What do you regret doing in high school?
Taking a “beach day” with my friends on the day of the history portion of the graduation exam. Definitely took me a couple of tries after that to pass it – whew! Oh, and taking naps in class. What was I thinking?!
What is one thing you are thankful for in high school?
Not having social media.
Pictured above are Naomi Greth Stejskal, Taylor Love, Blakeli Calvert Myrick, Shane Howard and Ashley Kilpatrick.
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Thanks for letting us get to know you, Ashley, and best wishes from the Foley Lion’s Roar.