Ansleigh Youngblood - Georgia Interview by Inspiring Teens Nomination by Deena Youngblood Photography by Amy Honea Photography Issue 39 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination:Ansleigh Youngblood is a creative, unique, and inspiring young woman. She is comfortable setting her own trends and loves to make a statement. Ansleigh is very passionate about her views on women and racial injustices. She has her own opinions and thoughts, and she doesn’t conform. She is not only confident in her beliefs, but she is knowledgeable about the reasonings for her beliefs. Ansleigh is extremely giving and compassionate. She is known for her acceptance for everyone and her encouraging attitude towards anyone she is around. To explain Ansleigh in a few words would be, “inspirational advocate to always be yourself.”
Photography by Amy Honea Photography
Please tell us more about your views on Women's Rights and why you feel so strongly to not conform. Women’s Rights is so much deeper than the surface issues that have already been fixed. Women’s Rights is being able to be comfortable with yourself and not having to worry about male agenda. It’s about taking a walk and feelings safe. It’s knowing your voice is heard and important in a room full of men. It’s not allowing yourself to be talked over, pushed aside, or counted out. I refuse to conform and settle for any less because in the future i want women to be respected all of the time, heard all of the time and treated as equal, all of the time. Share with us your beliefs on racial injustices and how you advocate for others. My beliefs on racial injustice include simply demanding equal treatment and basic human rights for EVERYONE. There should not be a single person in this world that is treated differently or feels less than anyone else due to the color of their skin. When I get older, if I choose to have children, I plan on teaching them that they are no more and no less than anyone else and they should always value and respect people despite the differences between them. And in my opinion, that’s what everyone should strive for. All the stories of injustice recently have hit me very hard, particularly Breonna Taylor’s case. When I heard the verdict my heart sank and if I didn’t know before, i knew then there was still work to be done. I truly believe there is entirely to much hate in this world and I refuse to be a part of it or be close to anyone who allows/supports it. With that being said I chose to be an ally, and I will stand by this. What issues in foster care hit you hardest and what do you feel should be done about it? I always knew there were very prominent issues with foster care but it wasn’t until last year in Ms. Fox’s AP Lang class when I was required to put together a research paper on the issues in foster care that I really understood it’s seriousness. The foster care system is like a second chance for kids that haven’t been in the most fortunate of situations but, only when executed correctly. The number of horror stories in foster care I read in preparation to write my essay was nothing short of devastating. Kids did not ask to be brought into this world and we have to do better for them. It’s like a trend, just when one story ends, there are plenty to follow. I believe that when issues arise, they should never be swept under the rug. I’m sure everyone is pretty familiar with Gabriel Fernandez and the events to follow his death. In his story if actions had been taken the first few times authority figures were contacted, a child would still be alive today. A few ways to help improve this system is supporting social workers, placing focus on prevention, making sure there are proper assessments and that the children and families have proper resources. Tell us about your love of art, your mom's nonprofit and the mural you're painting there. (Please also send a picture of it so far if you have one!) For as long as I can remember I’ve loved art. I’ve even painted and designed almost every wall in my room. Art is something that has become therapeutic for me. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, frustrated or anything really I can paint or draw to bring me almost immediate tranquility. I recently started painting a mural for my Mom’s nonprofit business in my city. This business is dedicated to my Grandmother and being that she was one of the most giving and loving people i have ever met, being able to do something for the kids who attend there feels fantastic. All the kids told me what they like and I’ve been trying to incorporate all their favorite things in the mural. So far we have a green dragon, a ginormous sun, flowers, watermelon and a robot. I love seeing their faces light up when they see their idea finished on the wall. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? Don’t strive to be where anyone else is. Strive to be where you want to be and never left other people dictate your choices and opinions. We are all different and that is what makes us strong. So instead strive to be your most authentic self. Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans? In 5 years I plan on being finished with college or close to it. If I’m not yet finished with college, I hope to be studying abroad. But if I am finished, I hope to be started on my career in speech pathology helping people. If possible, I’d want to be working with trauma patients specifically. Overall, I just plan on being happy. In the future if my plans change and I don’t get to do everything I dreamed of, I just hope I’m happy and never allowed myself to become content. What is your favorite activity or pastime that was not in your nomination? Another one of my favorite activities is skateboarding. I’ll admit I’m not very good, but I find it so fun and I’m still working on learning a few tricks How do you keep your schedule straight when you are so busy? Full transparency, when I’m exceedingly busy it’s hard to keep my schedule straight and I usually find myself stressed, overwhelmed and annoyed. But that’s just human nature. We find ourselves biting off more than we can chew and after plenty of struggle and heartache we preserve, somehow. It would be dishonest of me to say I have a perfect plan for busy weeks. The important thing is that we get through it the best we can.
Look for Ansleigh in issue 39 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!