Job title: Executive Director of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Canada (Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut)
Why she’s a 2020 Top 40 Under 40: Ashley Tedham advocates for incarcerated and criminally involved youth and has revitalized the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
When Ashley Tedham first started at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in 2017 she had two staff, no money and was operating out of a dingy office in a terrible location. Since then, Tedham has secured more than $1.5 million in grant funding, extended programming across Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut and expanded her staff to seven.
The award is an international framework started by HRH Prince Philip in 1956 that aims to help youth develop into adulthood. Tedham heads the Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut division. She developed and implemented a pilot project to work with youth in the justice system in Calgary, Edmonton and Yellowknife. She and her team originally sought to help 30 incarcerated youth and have served more than 120 so far.
“The [Award’s] justice program is all about opening doors of opportunities that would otherwise not be available to young people,” she says.
Tedham has compiled data from the project and contributed to the national discussion about what our country can do in response to restorative justice programming for young people.
“I am really passionately motivated to serve young people and to help build them up,” she says.
Revitalizing the local chapter of the award and advocating for youth aren’t Tedham’s only contributions. She volunteers with Dress for Success Calgary, she sits on the board of directors for CAUSE Canada — a non-profit organization that works with people living in extreme poverty in developing countries — and she volunteers with the Rotary Tom Jackson Stay In School Program. She’s also a member and volunteer for the United Nations Association in Canada. “I’m honoured to be in a position where I get to impact people’s lives on a daily basis,” she says.