The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


Ashley C. Ford Helios First-Year Speaker

Abigail Shimniok graphic

The Helios Program hosted Ashley C. Ford, author of “Somebody’s Daughter,” on Oct. 2 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Velzy Commons at Ullsvik Hall. The Helios Program at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville focuses on integrating students into their college courses while providing them with additional meaning to their classes.

To introduce Ford, Amanda Tucker, a Co-Director of the Helios Program, set the stage for Ford as well as gratitude show to the Provost Office, Dean Hilton Kelly and other organizations who helped to produce this event. Tucker also stated that UW-Platteville has 700 Helios Gateway students.
Before the reading of “Somebody’s Daughter,” Ford summarized her book as an honor to her child self. “Sharing my story is greatest gift of my life,” Ford said. she loves talking to young people and was very excited to participate with the Helios Program.

Ford started with her reading, which focused on Ford’s memories at her grandmother’s house and how she felt safe there. Specifically, the chapter described her grandmother’s room as a pastry shop because the smells always seemed to indicate nearby sweets.
Ford then moved deeper into her book to read an excerpt from a childhood experience near Christmas time.

As Ford was opening presents with her younger brother, the realization that her mother wrapped and bought the gifts hit her at full force. R.C., Ford’s younger brother, means the world to Ford and she put on a brave face to make the magic last while opening gifts.

After the direct readings, Ford was interviewed by Hannah Korell, assistant professor of English and member of the Helios Gateway Faculty. One of the first questions was about reading and how students should interact with it. Ford responded with an emphasis on the student’s want to read and that a student should be honest with themselves with what books bring enjoyment to their life.

Ford shared some short works which she has considered enjoyable. These examples include “Tar Beach” and “Maniac McGee” as they sparked her initial love of reading.

“Reading provides high concept ideas accessible to everyone,” Ford stated.

Besides her favorites, Ford is currently reading fiction about angry and mentally ill women. Such as “My Husband: A Novel” which is written by French author Maud Ventura. Ford described the reading sensation as a book you cannot put down. Books should make the reader “feel some type of way” according to Ford.

Reading and writing questions were intermingled as Ford uses reading to feel inspired to create her writing pieces. She gave insight into drafting personal works as the writer should have self-trust in themselves and be vulnerable as well as honest.

In Ford’s own life, she was dissuaded from her original dream and was told to remain silent. As Ford chose her own happiness and sought to fill her life with pleasure, she honestly wrote about the relationships she experienced. Not everyone was pleased with her actions, however, Ford chose to be on her own side and did what was best for her.

Despite changing her college major seven times, Ford ultimately decided to pursue an interest which she saw herself doing everyday because she enjoyed it. “I don’t dream of labor,” Ford replied in relation to the topic of dream job.

The event concluded with an open answer and question session with Ford. Many students came forth thanking Ford for her vulnerability in her book as it is refreshing to read a raw perspective.

Ford answered very openly and encouraged fun questions from the audience members.
She is not only a successful writer but also a host of a podcast as well as a renowned writer in the celebrity world as she is helping Kerry Washington write a book.

“(College years) are the best time of your life. Hopefully not because I now have a bigger imagination and a focus on what I want and what I don’t,” Ford said.

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