Ashley has always found it challenging to fit in with her peers. Born with a midline defect, Ashley has experienced oxygen deprivation along with physical and other challenges. As a result, learning for Ashley took longer and she was physically slower and weaker. This has had repercussions in Ashley’s social life, often being isolated or excluded from social events. At Zajac Ranch, Ashley has the opportunity to step into a world where she can confidently be her kind, caring, generous, helpful and nurturing self.

“Ashley advocates strongly for Zajac,” says Ashley’s mom, Sue. “She shares freely about her wonderful personal experiences at camp.” Ashley has attended Zajac Ranch for five years, often twice each summer. “We tell people about the amazing support from all the staff, the widely inclusive nature of the camps, and the wonderful growth opportunities that are provided.”

Ashley is grateful for the opportunity Zajac Ranch provides to be in an environment where she can freely fulfill her great desire to help others. “Ashley is a natural peer leader,” says Sue. “All of her experiences at camp have helped to build up her confidence and self-esteem.” Sue continues, “Her goal is to become a camp counselor. She is working towards that by taking part in the Counselor-in-Training program. We are so thankful for the opportunity.”

Sue believes Ashley’s experiences at Zajac Ranch have helped immensely in reinforcing her amazing capabilities. “Ashley has developed confidence, perseverance, and a ‘can-do’ attitude. She now believes in herself, and this has improved her social outreach as well as other daily life skills.”