Ashley Gordon Prater is a Licensed Master Social Worker with nearly a decade of direct practice experience. Ashley currently works at Dallas ISD, the second largest public school district in Texas, to provide services and support to special education students and their families. She has developed and implemented a curriculum for parents who are new to the special education and disability world. She also collaborates with district and campus personnel, community agencies, and families to advocate for inclusivity and a positive, holistic approach to serving children with disabilities and their families.
Prior to her work with Dallas ISD, Ashley worked at the Department of Family and Protective Services, Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, Baylor University’s Texas Hunger Initiative, Congressman Marc Veasey’s district office, Student Veterans Project and the Irving Police Department Victim Services Unit. Ashley is also currently serving on the City of Irving’s Housing and Human Services Board and is very involved with Girls Rock Dallas (a camp aimed at empowering girls and women through music education). She believes it is important to volunteer and give back to the community in any way you can.
Ashley obtained her bachelor's and master's degree in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has experience working with some of the most vulnerable populations including child and adult crime victims, persons with disabilities, veterans, immigrants, persons and families experiencing housing and financial instability and food insecurity.
Over the past few years she began feeling her ability to assist clients was hindered due to local, state and federal policies so she decided to return to academia and is currently finishing up her second master’s degree in public policy and administration at Northwestern University. She has a brain full of programming and policy ideas and a heart full of passion to see these ideas through. She hopes to create spaces and opportunities for those who are underserved and overlooked and improve and remove barriers to current assistance.
In the future, Ashley plans to obtain her clinical social work license and obtain a doctorate degree in social work or public policy. You can usually find her daydreaming about Leslie Knope (primary protagonist of TV’s Parks and Recreation) and ideas on how to change the world while humming Rage Against the Machine songs and snuggling with her Pomeranian, Roxy.