Despite recent false press, Los Angeles’ Ashley Butts is maintaining a positive attitude thanks to solace from family and friends and others who can attest to her good character.
An honors student, Ashley is a law school graduate, having received her law degree from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law in 2019.
Prior to enrolling in law school, Ashley graduated with honors from the University of Santa Clara in 2009, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Minor in African American Literature and Sociology.
Ashley attends Sunnyside Baptist Church in Westmont, CA and directs the church’s fitness ministry, where she provides fitness training and health education to underserved minority women at her church. She also mentors youth in the Fast Camp program, a free summer camp for community members who cannot afford summer childcare.
The negative press has profoundly surprised many of Ashley’s friends, who are adamant in defending her name.
Her pastor, Carolynn A. Cooks, can personally speak to Ashley’s morals: “Ashley is a respected person of good moral character,” she said. In fact, she noted the time when an argument broke out among some young people on the church’s basketball court. She said that Ashley stepped in and practiced conflict resolution with the young athletes.
“Ashley truly exemplifies the meaning of evangelist by going beyond the walls of the church and touching the community,” said Pastor Cooks. “I have been pleased to witness Ashley’s spiritual growth over time and I hope to see her blossom further.
“I have known Ashley for over five years and I have found her to be a confident, self-starter,” said Betty E. Porter, church moderator at Sunnyside. “She is efficient, organized and focused. She did not hesitate to assume greater responsibility to become head trainer when her mother took a leave of absence. She demonstrated initiative and skill when she assumed the leadership position.”
Larneice Jordan, a friend of Ashley’s, concurs: “Rather than just being a citizen in our society, Ashley is an asset. It’s a rare individual who commands as much respect as Ashley, both for her professional achievements and familial values.”
“I firmly believe Ashley is a good-natured person, largely because of Ashley’s abhorrence of violence, respect for life and devotion to helping others. To my knowledge she has never harmed or treated anyone unkindly.”
Ashley’s penchant for kindness was confirmed by Dipo Oseni, director of operations at the Real Man Cook Foundation in Marina Del Rey, a non-profit organization that serves medically underserved and disadvantaged individuals in the local minority community. Ashley is active in providing fitness training and health education to underserved minority women who take part in the foundation’s Obesity Prevention Initiative (OPI) Program. Oseni said that Ashley is wonderful to work with.
“As someone who has worked with some of the finest, most philanthropic, and most honorable of individuals in the city of Los Angeles, (I can tell you that) Ashley, without a doubt, stands head and shoulders above the rest. Her sense of duty, loyalty, honesty, integrity and commitment to excellence is second to none.
Oseni recalled that when one of the foundation’s partner sites needed to drop out of the OPI program, it was Ashley who volunteered to ensure that the women stayed motivated, received the training they needed, and were able to successfully improve their physical health.
“She is a fine example of what we stand for as a community and as a country,” said Oseni. “I can attest that I have never seen anything but the best from her, and it is with the highest of esteem that I reference her character.”
Former U.S. Marine and businessman David Frank, a gym owner who has known Ashley for several years, said that she initially planned to join the United States Marine Corps. After Ashley was selected for Officer Candidate School, her father, a retired Marine, sought Frank’s help in preparing Ashley physically before she reported. Things changed after she took the LSAT and opted instead to attend law school. This year, having graduated from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law, Ashley hopes to become a criminal defense attorney, as well as practice family law and work with juvenile delinquency. Currently she works as a law clerk assistant to the head general counsel at a company in Los Angeles.
Frank said that it is hard to believe anyone would have anything bad to say about Ashley.