A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ashley Edwards finds her service as grant writer at The Point/Arc rewarding and purposeful

By Andy Furman

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Not for Ashley Edwards, at least.

“I always wanted to work with individuals with special needs,” she said. “My grandma was a Special Education teacher in the Erlanger school system. That probably got me hooked.”

Ashley Edwards (Photo provided)

This month, Ashley Edwards celebrates her fifth anniversary at The Point/Arc. The 30-year-old Xavier University graduate started as a Case Manager at North Key – and moved to The Point/Arc to serve as Residential Program Director.

As Program Director for the Covington-based non-profit organization, Edwards handles all medical equipment for the 16 residential homes and oversees vehicle maintenance as well as residential needs.

And did we mention she now serves as Grant Writer for The Point/Arc?

“There were things we needed,” she said, “And we just didn’t have the funding.”

So, from 2020 Ashley Edwards has learned – and perfected – the art of writing grants – with much success.

“I wrote five vehicle grants back in 2020,” she recalled, “I remember it well since it takes months to write. In fact, I wrote an OKI grant, and it was about 60 pages.”

Her hard work has paid off. The Point/Arc got the OK for five vehicles, thanks to her grant writing.

“Ford stopped manufacturing during the pandemic,” she said, “And we’re still waiting for some vehicles, but we did receive two this month.”

Grant writing is an art – and Ashley Edwards seems to have the magic touch.

“I just started looking to see what kind of grants The Point/Arc would and could qualify.”

She says she writes grants in her free time, whenever that may be.

“I’m working on some individual grants now,” she said. “It’s really the same process. I’m looking for some items for our clients in residential; like a hot tub and a swing set.”

The Walton resident has had an easy time adapting to just about anything that comes her way.

At Boone County High School, she interned as an Occupational Therapist at Children’s Hospital. Yet, she still had time to work as a teacher at The Goddard School (2012).

She even had time for two mission trips to Jamaica to teach elementary school-aged children, provide support for the teachers, and introduce them to laptops and projectors that were donated. And she served as assistant girls’ basketball coach at Silver Grove High School (2014) and volleyball coach at St. Paul School in Florence (2012-15).

Her studies never wavered – she graduated high school with a 3.6 grade-point-average after taking several honors and advanced-placement courses.

“I get tremendous satisfaction helping others,” she said. “It’s quite rewarding, even more so than a victory on the basketball court.”

She’s found a new-calling these days as the grant writer at The Point/Arc. With much success.

The Point/Arc provides opportunities to individuals with intellectual and developmental (I/DD) disabilities to reach their highest potential educationally, residentially, socially, and vocationally.

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