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Beyond Labels: How Ashlyn Found Her True Self


I have always considered myself a service-oriented person, but I have never felt passionate about helping others until I joined Kappa Delta. My interest in empowering women and children began when I was 17 years old. I came out of an abusive relationship feeling alone, confused and unsure of who I was. I used a man to define my worth, and after years of constant control, I felt like a shell of a person. I questioned why abuse exists and considered how I could prevent others from experiencing the same fate. These questions followed me for years, along with the battle of finding my true self.

When the relationship ended, I began to invest in new friendships but had trouble attaining the validation I longed for. I tried to fit in with a group of people who didn’t care about me. I found myself pretending to be someone else, putting on an act and changing who I was based on what others wanted. I dropped weight, bought “cool” clothes regardless of if I liked them and adapted my personality to appear a certain way. I did all of this just to fit into a group that never liked me anyway. When I compare the way my Kappa Delta sisters treat me now to how these “friends” treated me in high school, it’s like night and day.

women in green shirts

Ashlyn’s sisters boost her confidence.

I entered college as an athlete, defining myself as a soccer player and nothing else. After several sleepless nights spent questioning my life choices, I ended up leaving the team. Yet again, I found myself at a crossroads, questioning where to go from there. I had no idea who I was.

At that point during college I began my journey to discover my self-worth. I wanted to find love for myself, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to get there. I went so far as to get a tattoo to remind myself to be confident. Still, I had yet to find a group of confident women to surround myself with. Something inside of me must have known that finding my people would come next.

women in matching shirts with a dog outside

Ashlyn was drawn to Kappa Delta because of the confidence platform and philanthropies.

When I entered Kappa Delta’s philanthropy round during recruitment, I finally found the answers to my questions. A member who would later become my grand-big stood on stage and told us about her journey with confidence, and I listened in awe. An organization that helped combat abuse through Prevent Child Abuse America, promoted confidence through the Confidence Coalition and empowered girls through Girl Scouts was an organization where I knew I belonged.

Had it not been for Kappa Delta, I may still be looking for validation in my relationships or sports. Instead, I am able to serve others in a way that inspires my passions every day, while constantly being reminded of my worth. Now, I hope my story helps other women learn how to discover their confidence.

Ashlyn Stone

opens in a new windowEpsilon Epsilon – Appalachian State University

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