Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Meet Staff Member Ashley Farmer!

Hey there! I am Ashley Farmer and I am the new Voucher Program Specialist with No More Homeless Pets in Utah. In this position, I work to extend access to low-income Utahns for free spay and neuter surgeries through our Free Fix Program. I volunteered with NMPHU about 6 years ago at the Super Pet Adoption where I found Patches O’Houlihan—a half Irish Wolfhound, half standard poodle buddle of Iovin’. I count myself incredibly lucky to be working with this amazing group of people on behalf of all of these wonderful animals!

Let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a Virginian through and through. I was born in Richmond and grew up in Appomattox, VA (For you history buffs, that is the where the American Civil War ended.). Eight years ago, I found myself in Salt Lake City attending Westminster College (Go Griffins!) where I received my B.S. in Social Science with an emphasis in Political Science. During my time at “Westmini,” I really fell in love with the West. Everything is a bit more relaxed out here and open. In 2009 I made my way back to Westminster (Go Griffins, again!) and graduated in 2011 with my M.A. in Community Leadership.

My career aspirations have taken me into various positions within the Human Services and Nonprofit fields. I have worked with Salt Lake County Criminal Justices Services, screening those booked into Jail for pretrial release. I was the Grassroots Relationship Manager with the American Cancer Society, working with their Government Relations Department advocating for legislation for equal access to healthcare. I went over to The Road Home as worked as their Volunteer Coordinator. And then I was fortunate enough to be hired by NMPHU. There is a definite pattern in the positions I have held to advocate and provide services for those who are experiencing tough circumstance of various forms.

In my free time, I am an avid yogi. I practice Anusara Yoga and have started to venture to the hot world of Bikram Yoga. I try to escape often to Southern Utah for hiking adventures (I’m spoiled in that aspect since my Dad is a Utah State Park Ranger. I like to mooch off him to get into some really fun places.). I also love music and going to concerts (My first concert was Paul McCartney at 7 years old, thus, beginning a lifelong love affair with The Beatles.). Some of my favorite bands are the aforementioned Beatles, The Smiths, The Clash, Radiohead, The Pixies, and so many more. Plus, I have a great affinity for folky, bluegrassy, twangy, countryish music. (Sorry. Getting on a Music Soapbox for a sec.) I am also a firm believer that the only music worth buying should be on vinyl. I have the best group of friends that I like to get into various shenanigans with on a regular basis. I enjoy reading historical nonfiction and watching documentaries of the Ken Burns ilk. And finally, I am a volunteer with Catholic Community Services of Utah’s Refugee Resettlement Program and am having a blast working with a family from Bhutan right now as they adjust to life in the Salty City!

I have to say, I have had so much fun since I’ve started at NMPHU and am awe inspired by our dedicated staff and volunteers! Everyone is so nice, so funny, and have been so incredibly patient with me as a learn the ropes around here. Again, I count myself as being very lucky to be here and am very excited about the work we are all part of!