Letter From Founder
Hello, my name is Ashley Cherry Wynn. I am the Founder and Executive Director of Little Ladies Inc. I was born on September 8, 1986 in Birmingham, Alabama. My parents are Abraham and Pandora Cherry. I have two younger siblings, Myles and Austin Cherry. I attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. While there, my primary focus was on my studies and rendering service in student organizations. Throughout my collegiate years, I faithfully served in several organizations: the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as the Event Coordinator and President, the Resident Advisory Program as a Resident Advisor for an all-girls dorm, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. I received the Autherine Lucy Foster Award. The award is given annually at Black Scholars Day to one student and one faculty or staff member who have made a significant contribution to the University of Alabama through leadership, service and support for minority student programming.
I am currently employed at Mercedes-Benz International as a Logistics Process Engineer. I am a wife to my wonderful husband, Paul. We have a daughter, Madison, who is the highlight of our lives. At a very early age, I have always had a desire to help people and give back to my community.
At the age of 13, I felt an urgency to do something impactful for my community. I remember watching Oprah one evening after school. Her show featured young people who were making a difference within their communities. I vividly remember a young girl who was 16. She created her own magazine called “Black Girls” because she felt popular teen magazines such as Seventeen and Cosmo Girls did not depict the true essence and beauty of African-American girls. She wanted a magazine where young girls of color could embrace their various shades of beautiful skin and hairstyles. After watching the show, I immediately thought of my friends and myself. I thought about the different issues we were facing as teens at that time. We were dealing peer pressure, insecurities, sexual promiscuity, bullying—the list could go on. We would often find ourselves venting to one another during lunch breaks or after school. I wanted to do something where those issues could be address appropriately with the right counsel and guidance. I wanted to start an organization where young girls could come together to talk and be able to express themselves freely—without being ridicule or judged. With the help of my lovely mother, Pandora W. Cherry, Little Ladies Inc. emerged and was incorporated in 2003.
Since 2003, Little Ladies Inc. has mentored over 36 girls from the Jefferson and Shelby County and has held over 84 events consisting of workshops, community service projects and social gatherings. Little Ladies Inc., has received several accolades from city and state elected officials. Our fondest award was receiving a Resolution on behalf of the Jefferson County Commissioner Office from Commissioner Larry Langford and Shelia Smoot. The award acknowledged the organization’s wonderful efforts and impact on the community. At the time, I was the youngest person to receive the award. Little Ladies Inc., also has had over six publication features.
I can attest to the impact Little Ladies Inc., has had on my life. I went through the program and the information shared has been vital in my development as a person and trying to navigate through this thing called life. I believe, now more than ever, there is a need to inspire, uplift and empower the next generation—our girls. Our friends, sisters and daughters are our future! We should devote ourselves to them in every way possible.
Peace, love, blessings and prosperity to you,
~Ashley C. Wynn