Growing up surrounded by gangs, drugs and violence, Ashleigh Evans had has fought against her environment to now give back to girls like her as a Head of Social Sciences at an inner-city secondary school.
The biggest barrier that I have overcome has been my race and class. I believe unconscious bias is a significant thing.
In particular, when I did law, I think you need quite a lot of resilience to power through. But I never really had that. I chose instead to teach about barriers within my subject, this helped me overcome those barriers in different ways.
The biggest lesson I have had to learn is that some things I cannot control but most I can, so outcomes are a choice. E.g if I don’t work hard in the gym I won’t lose weight or get fitter, so I can only blame myself when I don’t get to where I need to be!
My mum, wife and sister are my biggest support and motivation. They all believe in me in different ways! My mum and wife give harsh realities!!! Which sometimes you need to hear. My sister has a lot softer approach but has lots of faith in what I am capable of.
I want to make a change in society and to teach a good number of pupils that they can make a change too. Change to stereotypes that exist that ultimately cause discrimination. Mainly class, gender and ethnicity.
I invest in myself by working out. I try to go to the gym and play sports but it’s not as easy with a baby and wife. I have to maintain a balance and my wife is fully supportive of that as my mental health is affected if not.
I get stressed if I don’t do something competitive, that’s in my nature! We also have great friends who are always arranging things for us to do together.
Being honest I haven’t mastered looking after my mental health fully yet but I’m not sure anyone has. I still have my down days where everything you think about is negative but I think family, friends and keeping active are key in keeping myself positive.
I like to work out 3/4 times most weeks. I would love to do more but family commitments are more important to me. The more organised I am the healthier I am!!
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