Ashley is here to conduct presentations, workshops & fitness sessions for your group. 

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Past Events

About Ashley

Ashley Gustafson’s story is one of determination and perseverance. After struggling with her parents divorce, peer pressure, homelessness, drugs and sexual assault she realized that she had only two choices. First, she could simply throw in the towel. Second, she could figure out her purpose, her passions and what she is truly made of. Ashley chose the latter. Today, she shares her powerful story with young people as an inspirational speaker in hopes of helping them realize that they are not alone. As a result, she’s living proof that young people can pave their own ways to happiness by making more positive choices and learning from the mistakes of others.

Ashley’s presentation stresses the importance of being open-minded and kind. Also, she stresses that being an honest friend can change someone’s world. She emphasizes the important roles people have in society and that each day you make a difference in the lives of everyone you encounter. Moving forward, it is up to you if you want that difference to be positive or negative. ​Ashley worked to put herself through college and earned a Master’s Degree from Worcester State College and her plus 30 and plus 60 credits from Augustana University.

Ashley was a Health Educator for the Dudley-Charlton Regional School District for 12 years, she also took on the following roles while in that career: Wellness Coordinator, Junior Varsity Girls Soccer Coach, Game Change advisor, SADD advisor and Class advisor. Ashley decided to step away from her teaching career to dedicate her heart and soul into pursuing her passion and dream of impacting audiences of all ages as an Inspirational Speaker, Interactive Workshop Presenter, Fitness Creator and Confidence Coach. She is driven to MAKE A DIFFERENCE by helping others learn and grow by providing them with various tools to improve and navigate through the quicksand’s in all aspects of life.

Quote of the Week

Time is the most precious resource there is – you have to protect it.

Jesse Itzler

Presentations & Workshops

Ashley offers a number of motivating, engaging and creative workshops and presentations. From her keynote presentation highlighting her life story and overcoming obstacles to the wide range of professionl development & personal growth workshops, Ashley is ready to bring enthusiasm and motivation to your next event. 

Keynote Presentation


70 minutes | Prices Vary

Ashley’s Keynote Presentation is about her life story, which is a constant reminder that every person in this world makes a difference. However, it is up to the individual if they want to make that difference positive or negative based on their actions/reactions to situations they encounter throughout their journey. Life is like Navigating Through Quicksand. Just like being trapped in quicksand, when an individual feels stuck or overwhelmed they tend to get frustrated and “freak out.” Well just like both quicksand and in life,”freaking out” only leads us in deeper. In the end, we only become more “stuck”.

Ashley teaches the audience the importance of stepping back, relaxing, and remembering their core. From here, to focus on the task, challenge, or goal at hand without giving up. Finally, Ashley promotes consistent progress by slowly putting one foot in front of the other. The more the audience knows about topics and themselves, the more confident they are then able to feel about themselves and the decisions they make. Helping ourselves and others succeed so that we are always looking at the learning experiences we have and getting out of our comfort zone is when GROWTH happens.


Professional Development/Personal Growth

40 minute minimum | Prices Vary

Ashley’s energy and enthusiasm for raising awareness about a variety of topics will leave your audience feeling determined to understand not only themselves but others. The audience will be able to acknowledge and embrace opportunities for growth on both a personal and professional level. Her presentations as an inspirational speaker include, but are not limited to:

Effective Communication

What Makes YOU…. YOU

Focus & Goal Setting

Substance Use & Abuse

Power of Influence

Let’s Switch That! (Mindset)

Bring IT!



Violence Prevention

Setting Boundaries

Curriculum to Care

Mindfulness & Character


Get Up & GO!

ENERGY! What are your VIBES?


Self-Esteem Empowerment


Healthy Relationships

Nutrition & Wellness

What is RESPECT?

Rock Your World

Let’s Do This!



Speaking Testimonials

“Ashley Gustafson was our keynote presenter for the annual Varsity Athletes Above Substance Abuse (VAASA) Conference this fall.  Ashley captivated this group of 200 high school scholar athletes with her story of risky choices, personal vulnerability and profound resilience. Ashley’s retelling of events from her own adolescence is both alarming and inspiring.  She reminds us that even the brightest and most talented young people may be struggling with family, emotional and substance use related problems that are costly in many areas of a young person’s development.  She taught our students to tap their own inner strength while humbly seeking support and remaining grateful for the kindness of adult mentors in their lives.  Ashley galvanized the crowd with energizer activities and facilitated a lively “Owning the Room” communication workshop.  Most important was Ashley’s message about making a difference, whether standing up for a friend, or sincerely asking about how someone is doing.  VAASA members are tasked with making a difference by acting as role models for younger students.  Ashley Gustafson is a role model for our students!"

Colleen Judge, LMHC

Director, School Based Services, RI Student Assistance Services

"Ashley’s presentation was passionate and energetic.  Her story showed vulnerability and strength.  Ashley included story-telling and hands-on experiential activities making her presentation not only moving to hear but also fun to be a part of!  Ashley taught us to remember to breathe through the quicksand and never forget that we have the ability to impact each person we encounter and can “Make a Difference”.  Thank you Ashley for empowering us and sharing your story."

Jillian Alfeo, LMHC

Vice President of Quality, Y.O.U., Inc.

Fitness Session Testimonials

“After attending fitness sessions with Ashley Gustafson over the past couple of months I have gained so many perspectives on life. Not only has my physical strength improved, but I have also learned how to mentally improve myself as well. Through conversations and experiences, Ashley has taught and shown me such a positive outlook on life and because of her, I am now able to look at things in various ways, with a positive attitude. She brings positive energy into any environment she enters and truly impacts anyone she encounters. Ashley dedicates her life to helping others and making a difference, not for herself but solely because she has a desire to help and improve other people’s lives. I am beyond thankful to train with her, and am so grateful to have learned how the way you talk to others and yourself can heavily impact your potential and ability.”

Julia Lussier

Freshman, UMass Lowell

“Over the past month, I have been working out with Ashley Gustafson every morning. During these workouts, she has completely changed my mindset on working out for the better. She taught me to never tell yourself you can’t do something and the key to having a good workout is to focus on how you are bettering yourself not only physically but mentally. Throughout this month I’ve realized a change in my mental state and physical state, I look at things not just workouts in a better way but life as well. I feel more energized, healthier, and productive after doing these workouts because we focus on technique and adding in that mental health aspect as well. Overall I am so lucky to have the experience of working with her. The positive energy she brings to a room, her outgoing personality and her brighter outlook on life inspires me to do better.”

Becky Johnson

Senior, Auburn High School Girls Varsity Soccer

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