Ashley DeRamus, entrepreneur, fashion designer, singer, and advocate, set a goal to be the first special needs person to sing the National Anthem in all 50 States. That is a title and a goal she was able to achieve because she also happens to have Down Syndrome.
When they heard about Ashley's goal, Gospel legends Bill & Gloria Gaither extended an invitation for her to join their Alaskan Homecoming Cruise, where she completed her ambition. Sharing both her vision and her voice, she performed in Juneau, Alaska, in front of the USS Juneau Memorial on the seawalk. Bill Gaither and the Gaither Music Group were happy to assist Ashley in reaching this great achievement.
Ashley's admirable defining motto is, "Don't tell me what I can't do. Let me show you what I CAN do!" To her, it is more than just words, as she pushes herself beyond the limits of what most of us would ever dream.
In 2012, Ashley and her mother, Connie DeRamus, established The Ashley DeRamus Foundation, an organization founded for and dedicated to the education, advancement, and quality of lifestyle for those with Down syndrome. In 2013, Ashley started her own clothing line, described as "special clothing for special people." Her enthusiasm and winning attitude have drawn national and international attention, and she has been voted the International Down Syndrome Advocate of the year. She has also sung onstage with Jason Crabb and appeared in his video, "Love Is Stronger."
Always setting new goals for herself, she decided she wanted to be the first special needs person to sing the National Anthem in all 50 states. And once she determines a course, she finds a way to achieve it. On July 22nd, she performed in the last state on her list-Alaska. Mayor Beth Weldon presented Ashley with a certificate and a key to the city.
In a recent television interview with WVTM 13 News, Ashley said, "God created me to be who I am. Not a disease with Down Syndrome." This amazing young woman was also named one of six entrepreneurs who are inspiring the world. She is clearly living out the goal of the Ashley DeRamus Foundation: "Touching Lives and Giving Hope."