My name is Ashlei Hurst, and I go to Bayside Midtown. I work for Mercy Housing, and I’m the director of the Leataata Floyd Student and Family Community Center. I work at Leataata Floyd Elementary School and serve students and families who live in Marina Vista and Alder Grove, the largest public housing communities in Sacramento County. Working on campus allows me to connect with students and families in a familiar environment while providing needed services that can extend beyond the traditional hours and scope of the school day.
My team and I create beauty by giving our students a second chance. Recently, we started a middle school program for students who transition from Leataata Floyd Elementary School onto middle school and high school. Some of our students aren’t reading at grade level and struggle academically. Our students experience complex challenges that greatly impact their educational achievement and can impact their life trajectory; therefore, our team works around the clock to care for their social, emotional, and academic needs. Ultimately, we hope to increase higher education opportunities for young people living in Marina Vista and Alder Grove.
The Jesus that I know and love went out of his way to care for the marginalized and the poor. I’m called to do that work because I want to be like Him. Many young people who live in Marina Vista and Alder Grove are treated differently because of their race, socio-economic status, and because they live in public housing. Many people don’t even drive through their neighborhood because it’s seen as “scary.” My team is here to help advocate for our students and to show them that they matter. We want to help them create a pathway out of poverty and live the life of their dreams.