Ashton's innate desire to seek out those stories that often remain untold brought her to discover and cultivate her passion to promote the human rights of vulnerable populations, whether that be refugees, Holocaust Survivors, or people with disabilities. After personally dealing with a chronic disease for much of her life, Ashton was driven to generate awareness for those individuals who often feel silenced by their conditions. This very personal experience strengthened by her extensive volunteer work in every tier of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, encouraged Ashton to serve on the organization’s National Council of College Leaders, culminating in the founding of her own support group and piloting of national awareness initiatives.
As a fourth year International Development Studies major and Disability Studies minor, Ashton translated her passion for the disability community into an immersive learning experience by spending the semester in Washington DC as an intern for the National Council on Independent Living. While working in policy, Ashton spearheaded the organization’s briefings to Congress and advocated for the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Ashton has extended her passion for advocating for vulnerable populations into her work as the director of Bearing Witness, an intergenerational program bringing together UCLA students and Holocaust Survivors over bimonthly lunch sessions to promote greater genocide awareness. As a storyteller and advocate, Ashton remains committed through her leadership role in the Writing Success Program as a writing counselor for students originating from underrepresented communities on campus.