1] Public service is a relatively underrepresented profession for women. How do you push forward in that field?
That’s absolutely correct. It is an underrepresented profession for women—especially black women. But I’ve never let that phase me! Mentorship and networking have been key to my success, and I continue to encounter seasoned local government leaders who genuinely want to invest in young leaders like myself. I push forward confidently because I know my worth, and I know that communities I am meant to serve will see that in me. There are so many communities across the nation who are lacking the quality of life they deserve, and that will always light a fire in me that no one can put out.
2] Ashley Wooten, outside of service for others what do you do to have fun?
I really enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I don’t get to see people often because I’m always working or doing homework, so I really enjoy whatever time I get with people I love. The activity really doesn’t matter to me. There are so many people in my life I can just sit and laugh with for hours, and it never gets old.
3] What is the worst part of womanhood? (Outside of periods) lol
I honestly have no idea. I love being a woman lol. I feel like all the things that are challenging for women make us the amazing beings that we are. It could also be that I am in a really good space right now, so I can’t think of anything negative at the moment. Womanhood is a glorious experience in my eyes.
4] What is the hardest feeling to express as a woman?
I feel like it is different for every woman. But for me personally, it has always been hard to express anger. Not only am I woman, but I am also a black woman. We are often stereotyped, and written off as angry women who have attitudes all of the time. There have been plenty of times I was put in situations where I was uncomfortable or felt mistreated, and I never felt like I could fully express my frustrations without being labeled.
5] How do you intend to shine your light for other women?
I intend to do so by being transparent about my experiences in an effort to empower other women. I want them to see that they aren’t alone, and show them that they too have the ability to overcome whatever obstacles come their way. I also want to set an example by being the greatest version of myself, and show them that it is ok to be unapologetically you.
6] Amidst all the world’s problems how do you wind down and self-care?
I like to relax by myself and watch TV, or go exercise. I’m also a huge fan of hot showers and music. My mind is constantly running, and I feel like those activities really free my mind of whatever is bothering me.
7] What parts of yourself do you find to be beautiful externally?
I think I’m beautiful from head to toe, but I’ll hit on some of my favorite things. One thing I find to be beautiful externally are my hands. I’m sure that isn’t what anyone was expecting, but I have gorgeous hand with incredible nail beds. I also really love my eyes. I have always felt like my eyes are connected to my soul. I think I express a lot with my eyes (and I don’t mean eye rolling), and people feel it. Last but not least, I’ve gotta shout out my smile and single dimple.
8] What ways are you conquering your old self to be a better you?
Growing up I really struggled with self-love (self-doubt more than anything), and as I have gotten older I have never really confronted it up until recently. I know that in order to live my life to the absolute fullest I have to start within, and address the ways I’m holding myself back. I have learned that there is nothing wrong with putting myself first. The old me was always sacrificing my needs for those I loved, and I learned quick that my cup was always empty because I was constantly pouring into others and neglecting myself. In order to stay committed to these things I surround myself with people I know will hold me accountable and keep me encouraged.
9] What ways are women growing as a whole in today’s society?
We are taking back our power, and not letting society define us, and I think it’s incredible. We are learning to be the best version of ourselves instead of conforming to what people think is right, and I think we are long overdue for this shift.
10.] Work is every millennial’s life currently, how do you combat that as a woman in the work environment?
I’ve learned to recognize the signs when I’ve overworked myself. I’m a firm believer in taking breaks, getting rest, and having fun. That “I won’t sleep til I’m dead” nonsense will send you to an early grave. I could die tomorrow (God forbid), and I would’ve wasted a bunch of time working, instead of taking time to enjoy life. I make time for myself to do things I enjoy. I would also suggest doing something you’re passionate about, and finding the right environment for you to grow and build relationships with people. I am blessed to say that I enjoy my job and spending time with the people I work with. It makes a huge difference. I understand that not every experience will be like that, but I know for a fact the opportunity exists—you just have to be willing to trust the process.
11] What makes you unique as a woman?
The fact that I am Woo, and there will never be another like me. Period.
12.) Who is your (S) Hero that propels you to greatness?
Although I have many, the Shero I want to highlight today is my big sister Alex. She is intelligent, disciplined, and one of the bravest people I know. She inspires me daily, and I’m beyond thankful to have a woman like her in my corner. She is one of the few people that has kept me encouraged throughout the years, and it has made a lasting impact on my life. I am blessed to have a big sister like her always looking out for me.