The List – The Top Influencers of 2019 -Ashley Grayned

The List – The Top Influencers of 2019 -Ashley Grayned

Ashley Grayned

Executive Director of Innovative Programs and Strategic Planning for DPS61

Who was your first mentor in life?

My first mentors in life would be my parents (Claudies & Ruth Tyus). My parents provided an excellent foundation and home life that has been instrumental in making me the woman that I am today. A foundation built on Christ, love, kindness, and grace.

What was your most memorable lesson?

I remember being young and always seeing my parents showing loves through acts of kindness. I remember being in Brownsville, TN visiting family and my mother and I were at the store and she ran into a former high school classmate. The classmate was clearly less fortunate and complimented my mom’s shoes. The next thing I knew, my mom was taking off her shoes and giving them to the lady. I remember the lady hugging my mom and crying as my mom prayed for her. As we walked away a few minutes later, I asked my mom, “why she gave the lady her shoes?” My mom responded and said “I’m blessed to buy myself more shoes, but she isn’t so fortunate. Always find a way to be blessing or show kindness.”

What does community mean to you?

I LOVE my community. This community has played an intricate role in my life. There are amazing citizens in this community who work hard every day to make our community a desirable place to live, work, and raise a family. A community filled with citizens that will roll-up their sleeves and combine efforts to assist in the cause. It truly takes a village to make a community successful and the Decatur community is very fortunate to have so much community support from industry leaders and great citizens.

Why are you involved in the community?

My mission is to impact, inspire, and transform those around me and the work that I do in the community helps me fulfill this mission every day. I love being involved in the community that I was raised in. Being able to give back and make a difference for the youth motivates me to do more. Someone had to pave the way for me and I truly believe that it’s my responsibility to carry the torch for the next generation. I have vested interest in seeing our community succeed and I want to continue to do my part to make a difference.

What advice would you give to people who want to do more?

My favorite quote is “Be the change you want to see in the world” – Gandhi. This community is what the citizens of this community make it. Find a way to get involved that aligns up with your passion, mission, and values and like Nike said “Just Do It!” There is more than enough work to do and a place for everyone. Become solution oriented and action based and let’s all work to make a greater impact!