We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Nevison and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, what principle do you value most?
Kindness is the principle that matters most to me. It is so important that we are kind to others and also ourselves. I truly believe that if we show kindness to others it spreads like a ripple in water. One kind event will lead to another kind event. Even something as simple as smiling at a stranger will help brighten the stranger and your own day. In my spare time I love to paint Kindness Rocks that I leave all over the state. I even bring them with me when I travel. A Kindness Rock is a rock that is painted with a kind message, quote or image that is left for someone else to find. If we would all focus on being kind to each other I think we could change the world.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a 14 year old student in 8th grade. I started my 501(c)3 non-profit ,Sargeant’s Army, when I was 11 to honor my cat who died of cancer. I started Sargeant’s Army by sewing cat toys out of left over fabric scraps. In March 2020, I pivoted to use my sewing skills to sew masks and donate them to hospital and essential workers. During the summer I donated some to a homeless outreach program. Volunteering there made me decide that I wanted to do more to help so I started fundraising and grant writing to raise money to donate Hope Bags filled with hygiene items to homeless organizations across the state. I’m very proud that I am close to accomplishing my first goal that I set for myself. My goal is to provide Hope Bags to all 15 counties in Arizona. So far I have donated to 10 out of them. It hasn’t been easy starting a non-profit from scratch but I am very happy with my progress so far. The need for my Hope Bags is so great and that is what keeps me working so hard to get more funding. I am humbled to have raised enough money to provide over 7,200 Hope Bags to homeless organizations. It’s been a lot of work but I wouldn’t change anything.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take my friend to Main Event and we would go bowling and have fun in the arcade and doing laser tag. Then we would go to Chandler Fashion Center and go shopping. Of course we would have to go to Dutch Bros for drinks. If she was here for a week we would have to go to the Grand Canyon and go hiking. You can’t come to Arizona without visiting the Grand Canyon.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to thank my parents for always supporting me. They encourage me to follow my dreams and are always there for me. They have made me the person I am today.

Website: https://sargeantsarmy.org/

Instagram: @ashley.beingthechange AND @sargeantsarmy

Facebook: Sargeant’s Army

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.