Ashley Bendiksen

Advocating Strong Mental Health & Healthy Relationships

  • Topics:
  • Dating Violence
  • Mental Health
  • Resilience
  • Audiences:
  • Grade 6-12 Students
  • College Students
  • Teachers & Staff
  • Fundraisers

Fee: $5K-10K

Invite Ashley

At-Risk Dropout to Valedictorian
Advocate for Mental Health & Healthy Relationships
Lived Experience, Deep Expertise, and Field Experience

Ashley Bendiksen is an award-winning advocate and nationally acclaimed speaker for students and educators. 

As a teen and young adult, Ashley was at-risk. She felt alone and hopeless, and everything only grew worse. Yet despite becoming homeless, a college dropout, and a victim of dating abuse and assault, Ashley rose to achieve extraordinary success.

Defying the odds, Ashley became class valedictorian, an award-winning activist, and nonprofit founder. She also discovered her purpose, making it her mission to promote healthy relationships, dating violence prevention, mental health, and resilience.

For over a decade, Ashley has made a transformational impact on the lives of youth and the adults serving them. She combines authentic and relatable storytelling with education, awareness, and practical tools to drive real and lasting change.

In addition, Ashley is the founder of the Blue Hearts Project – a global storytelling platform for survivors. She is also the co-owner of an agency specializing in life coaching for teens and young adults. 

A Leading Voice and Experienced Expert in The Field

Ashley’s lived experience is supported by 15 years of professional leadership in the fields of domestic and sexual violence, primary prevention, youth mental health, trauma recovery, and social justice across the education, nonprofit, civic, and government sectors.


• B.A. in Administration of Justice
• Certified in Crisis Response & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
• Trauma Response & Adverse Childhood Experiences
• Trained in Safe Dates, Green Dot, MVP, and White Ribbon
• Vast experience supporting LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities
• Published best-selling author
• Award-winning advocate leading hundreds of initiatives
• Starred in an award-winning documentary on survivorship
• Philanthropic experience; helped raise millions of dollars for nonprofits


“I have never heard a speaker's name mentioned so many times! ​We wanted our keynote speaker to start off the conference weekend strong and Ashley exceeded all of our expectations! Over the weekend, I heard her name mentioned over and over again.”
Nicole K, Massstar Youth Leadership Conference
“No one could believe that a woman so young, beautiful, and full of life had been through such a traumatic experience, and then gone on to find so much success. Our participants were so moved and touched by her story that they have asked her to come back and speak again.”
Gail F, Executive Director of YWCA
“Ashley has my highest endorsement! She has the ability to read audiences, create a safe environment for sharing ideas, and possesses the necessary personal skills, empathy and passion to engage any type of audience – even the most seasoned professionals.”
Eric B, Founder of Difference Makers
“From delivering the keynote address at our biggest event of the year, to running an effective workshop session for our students - I have seen firsthand why Ashley is a leading speaker for youth. She delivers a powerful message that engages students, is relevant and memorable, and just as important, compels them to take action afterwards.”
Jeffrey P, President Junior Achievement of Southeastern Massachusetts
“Ashley was a dynamite speaker and presenter whose passion for helping others is clearly evident. Our members were enlightened and motivated to continue their work across the state to assist and advocate on behalf of victims of domestic violence.”
Donna S, General Federation of Women's Clubs

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Invite Ashley