Out-of-School Time Practitioner Turns Her Love for Children into Purposeful Career

Ashley Pierce has always had a love for children. In August 2017, she was working in the school cafeteria at the Conservatory of North Palm Beach where she knew everyone by name and would use her break time between meals to entertain the children because she enjoyed seeing them smile. It was easy to see the impact Pierce was making the lives of the youth attending.  


Ashley knew she wanted to grow in the afterschool field and credits her director for motivating her to pursue her education and further develop her skills and purpose in life. 

“I figured that if I better myself, I can expand my purpose when it comes to helping children.”  – Ashley Pierce, Activity Leader, The Conservatory North Palm Beach Afterschool Program,


Ashley completed her Youth Development College Credit Certificate in 2020 by taking advantage of scholarships and the College Credit Pathway offered through Prime Time. Through these opportunities, Ashley was able to better understand how to manage her afterschool program and work with children when they experience different types of emotions.  

She not only values her educational experience for the lessons learned, but also the greater sense of community she has found. 

“An added benefit was meeting people who feel the equal amount of passion I do for this field and being able to share tips and helpful information.” – Ashley Pierce, Activity Leader, The Conservatory North Palm Beach Afterschool Program, pictured left

Since completing her Youth Development College Credit Certificate, Ashley has been promoted to an activity leader and has chosen to continue her education by pursuing an Associate Degree in Human Services-Youth Development. 

The Conservatory North Palm Beach Afterschool Program is a member of the Palm Beach County Quality Improvement System. Director Katherine Wilke participated in the self-assessment process of her program this school year and gained valuable information to support staff and youth through the continuous practices of the Palm Beach County Quality Standards for Afterschool, professional development trainings and resources. Katherine Wilke is eager to start the new school year with new Activity Leader Ashley Pierce. Her experience in youth development and passion for youth will be a huge impact for the program, youth and the out-of-school time field. – Rebecca Moore Weatherspoon, Quality Advisor, Prime Time Palm Beach County, pictured left

Ashley was able to turn her love for making children and youth smile into a purposeful career as she continues to grow in the afterschool field.  

If you are interested in growing in the out-of-school time field, Prime Time offers career advising that is designed to provide professional guidance and empower practitioners to develop meaningful educational plans that are consistent with their academic, personal and professional goals.