My name is Ashley, and I am 17 years old (turning 18 in August). I am an artist and writer in Austin, Texas. My online photography portfolio can be located at: https://ashleykahn1999.wixsite.com/portfolio
As for writing... I was put on over 30 different psychotropic medications last year. I can't even remember the names of all of them. I was hospitalized in October of 2015, and had a medication induced manic episode beginning in February and lasted until May. I became addicted to Xanax and valium (both prescribed). I have a plethora of mental disorders (most relating to anxiety) and have had to cope with them from a young age. They reared their ugly heads in middle school after I was sexually assaulted by a peer, and had the series of assaults blamed on me (gotta love the "boys will be boys" spiel). I have more experiences I can speak on, like abusive mothers and mental illness within families, but I won't babble on about it in this email.
After I got off of the meds I was on, I was able to excel in school, making straight A's, honors and college courses included. I intern for Wendy Davis and work with her organization, Deeds Not Words. Under her guidance, I testified in support of SB2039 a couple months ago, which ended up passing and being signed into law. The bill implements curriculum in Texas public high schools that aims to educate students on/prevent Sex Trafficking. I think that pharmaceuticals can save lives, and often do, but they are overprescribed in the states by greedy and unethical Psychiatrists.
I am currently in Lesotho, a landlocked country inside of South Africa, teaching art, English, and creative writing to boys at the Kick for Life Academy. I am also photographing and writing for the African Library Project while I'm here.
Sorry for how disorganized and chaotic this email is;it's been a long day.