Meet Ashley Olafsen: The freshman CEO

This girl is going places

At just 18 years old, Ashley Olafsen has accomplished more than most people do in their entire college career.

Not only has she inspired countless girls in their journey with self-confidence, but she is now adding author, CEO, and college student to her list of applicable titles.

In the past three years, Ashley has given 15 self-confidence workshops, spoken at huge conferences like MASSQUE, given a TedTalk, and has started a summer program for self-confidence and love.

“Sophomore year of high school, so many of my friends were dealing with body image issues and dealing with eating disorders and self-harm and there were so many things holding them back from reaching their full potentials and I was so frustrated that such great people couldn’t see that they were so absolutely outstanding, so I wanted to do something to change that and so then I created the first self-confidence workshops.”

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Her company M.O.V.E., which stands for motivate, overcome, value, and empower, is in the process of becoming legally certified, and it is through this company that she gives her workshops.

Now that she has started college, scheduling workshops has become more difficult. So naturally, she is finishing up her book.

“Over the past two years I’ve been working on a book, and I’m nearing the publishing stage which is really exciting because it’s been forever. I’m due to finish it on November 17th.”

She grew up in Hopkinton, MA, and came to UMass this fall as a freshman hoping to gain the skills she need to reach her many goals. “There really isn’t a name for what I want to do, and that’s why I am designing my own major. I want to give self-confidence workshops, I want to be a writer, and I want to be a speaker; it just so up in the air and not a very traditional career path,” she says.

She also recently started S.A.G.E; Students Allied for Gender Equality, with Corinne Daley.  The club uses the same curriculum Ashley writes for her workshops and summer program, but is more tailored to the college level.

“So many of us are dealing with mental health issues. So many of us are dealing with depression. So many of us are dealing with the pressure that it takes to be a man or a woman. This is all so present.

“I see issues happening because of extreme sexualization constantly, and all of us together are struggling with it but no one is really speaking up or talking about it or making a difference,” and that is exactly what Ashley is working towards: making a difference.

Ashley Olafsen is a name to remember. This girl is going places, no doubt about it. I asked her what message she is trying to get across, and her response was: “Everyone has the potential to reach their full potential.”
To get involved, UMASS Students can join over 500 subscribers and sign up for MOVE’s weekly newsletter at www.moveofficial.weebly.com. They can also join S.A.G.E which meets Tuesdays at 7pm in Gorman Hall.

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UMass Amherst