Woman finds career that doesn't feel like work by pursuing passion for non-profits

At a young age, Ashley Lowery knew she wanted to help people. 

"I just grew up wanting to give back to others and liking that feeling that you get when you do something for someone else," Lowery shared.

Lowery spent her childhood in Florida and graduated from Seminole High School in 2001. 

"I actually took some time off after high school and just went right to work at a marketing firm," she explained 

The firm specialized in helping non-profits.  

"I started to realize that I kind of wanted to be on that other side of the coin working for a non-profit organization," Lowery said. 

So, she went to USF and got a degree in marketing. Then she started looking for a job in the non-profit sector. She ended up at the Homeless Empowerment Program in Clearwater. It provides housing and support services for people in need. 

"It's just a really good feeling to walk through the doors and see all the good work that is being done here," Lowery said. 

She started as the marketing coordinator and is now the executive director of HEP. 

"I count myself as one of the fortunate few that is doing something that they love to do for work,” Lowery said. ‘It doesn't ever feel like work coming in here doing what we do. If feels like something I was meant to be here for it. I'm incredibly grateful." 

Lowery, has a message for those looking for happiness in financial success. 

"I think what makes people happy is being a good person and giving back to the community,” Lowery explained. “And seeing the people’s faces when they find relief at a place like HEP. There's nothing like that and money can't buy that feeling."

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