Find the Greatness Within
Watching Oprah Winfrey as a small child, Ashley knew she wanted a future profession in communication. The early influence of the female mogul incited a love for professional speaking, crafting Ashley into a powerful speaker and advocate for youth from all over the world.
Growing up in the small city of Kingston, NY and participating in a variety of activities and organizations, Ashley recognized first- hand the lack of access to resources to help grow the talents and ambitions of the youth. This early realization fostered a compassion for young people and fueled the desire to see them succeed beyond whatever limitations were set before them. She decided an education was the path for change. Walking across the stage of Kingston High School was just the start of greatness for Ashley Knox.
Ashley went on to walk across many more stages earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a focus in Spain/Latin America and Africana Studies and a Master's degree in Humanistic and Multicultural Education both from SUNY New Paltz. Her work in these areas prompted her work in academia. She has served as a college administrator of international programs and study abroad along with supporting international students to gain the college experience in the Hudson Valley. She currently works as the Coordinator for Academic Civic and Global Engagement at Iona College. Ashley is a public speaker and educator with over ten years of experience developing and facilitating educational leadership programs for high school and college students locally and across the globe.
Her work’s mission is to empower young people to find the greatness within to achieve and exceed their highest potential with an emphasis in leadership, effective communication, positive behavior, and resiliency. That mission blossomed into Go Beyond Greatness Incorporated (GBG): a college and career readiness program designed to support students in developing the skills and "greatness mindset" needed to succeed in the 21st century. As the Founder and Director of GBG, Ashley’s professional commitment to education and youth development gives her the highest capacity to successfully carry out programs that inspire young people to go beyond their greatness in academic achievement and life success.
In addition to her work in the academic sector, Ashley recognizes the intrinsic value of community. As a teenager, she worked at the Boys and Girls Club and the YWCA, and today she continues that essential work serving the community. She serves on the Leadership Council of United Way Raising Hope of Ulster County, is a board member of the TMI Project as well as the Hudson River Playback Theatre, and is a business advisor for the Kingston Land Trust.
Ashley will always call the Hudson Valley her home. She currently resides in Ulster County where she is raising her teenaged son.
Executive Director, Mentor
Go Beyond Greatness Inc. Advisory Board
Elder James Childs Sr. is the VP -Board of Education for Kingston City School District and Pastor of The Point Church. He has spent over 30 years supporting people and community with a great passion in educating our youth. He serves on variety of committee boards including Diversity Cadre, Policy, Master Plan Facilities & Visitation, and Curriculum and Instruction, and more.
Rebecca Martin is a jazz singer and songwriter. After working for MTV Network, she became the co-founder of Kingston Citizens and has organized over 100 different initiatives and projects that support community development and partnerships including Urban Agriculture, Kingston Rail Trail, Community Education Forums, and more. She has also served as Executive Director of Kingston Land Trust and was recently awarded as Best Activist in the Hudson Valley Magazine.
Lucy Swenson is the owner of The Turning Mill Graphic Art Studio providing a full spectrum of design services in marketing, promotional, and advertisement for over 30 years. She is strong advocate in youth development and education. She has developed program brochures, audio and video production, and websites for a number of educational professionals. Lucy supports young people that take charge over their life success.
Maureen Bowers is a long time advocate in education serving on a variety of not-for-profit boards for over 25 years including Center for Creative Education, TMI Project, Raising Hope of Ulster County, and previous trustee of the Kingston City School District Board of Education. She is known for her collaboration between arts and education with a commitment in supporting new initiatives in public school education for higher achievement and student success.
Nancy Plumer, MS is a former public school teacher and principal. She is a long time transformation trainer/teacher/author/healer who has spent more than 30 years in various holistic healing modalities. Nancy maintains a private practice of energy healing and spiritual counseling. She is a consultant and trainer for organizations, schools and government agencies throughout the United States.
Claire Zimmerman Durst is a NYS child custody attorney for over 30 years and also specializes in other areas of law. She has served as a respected attorney for Ulster Family Court. She is a firm believer in parent involvement along with the protection and well-being of our children.
Helen Edelstein is a former public school teacher and co-founder of The Sage Garden Academy designed to serve the needs of intellectually gifted children. Helen is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and the Consultant for Behavioral and Organizational Consulting Associates. For over 25 years, Helen has developed rehabilitation and treatment services for an array of organizations. She also serves on county and state wide boards with a focus in mental health and workforce development including Ulster County Vocational Steering Committee, YWCA of Ulster County, and Leadership Council of Raising Hope.
Evry Mann is the Founder and former Executive Director of Center of Creative Education; home of the Percussion Orchestra of Kingston and Energy Dance Company. He is a long-time supporter in education of the Arts. He is known for his creative talents as a master percussionist, composer and writer with extensive experience in both education and social services for over 30 years.
Ajax Green is the Owner of On Belay Business Advisors and social entrepreneur that has lead and advised many successful companies from a wide variety of industries for over 30 years. Ajax is the Co-Founder and board member of Re<Think Local and also serves on a number of boards providing insight in industry-changing strategic thinking, social and environmental sustainability, and the process of co-creating a better Hudson Valley community.