Though the story contains the hopeful outcome often found in movies, the life of best-selling author Ashley Rhodes-Courter may end happily, but it first endured the unfathomable hardship found too frequently in foster care. Rhodes-Courter will share her story when she visits Buffalo Wednesday on behalf of the Mental Health Association of Erie County.
Beyond telling her own tale, Rhodes-Courter will be bringing to Buffalo a call to action.
"I'm hoping more people step forward for kids like me because our outcomes can be just as successful, if not more so than anybody else because we have that adversity, we have that little something that makes us special, that makes us a fighter. I think those characteristics when fostered the appropriate way, these kids are just incredible."
Her memoir, "Three Little Words," is being made into a movie with Reese Witherspoon set to star as CASA volunteer Mary Miller, who intervened on behalf of a young Ashley Rhodes-Courter as she was wallowing through the jumbled landscape of foster care.
"It's absolutely important that community members of all walks of life step forward. There's always a way to help this cause. Either by becoming a CASA volunteer, by becoming a foster or adoptive-parent or if you're a business owner who can hire kids who are aging out of foster care."
Rhodes-Courter will participate in Wednesday morning workshop and speak at the annual dinner of the Mental Health Association of Erie County. More information can be found at www.eriemha.org