Ashley Rhodes-Courter is the quintessential American success story. Born in 1985 to a single teen mother, by the age of 3 she was in Florida’s foster care system where she spent almost ten years being shuttled between 14 homes—some quite abusive—before being adopted from a Children’s Home at the age of twelve. Early in her life she felt compelled to advocate for herself and the other children she lived with, particularly in the abusive foster homes.
On June 1, 2003, the New York Times Magazine published her grand prize winning essay about her adoption day. She expanded her essay into a memoir, Three Little Words, which was published by Simon & Schuster in January 2008 and quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Her memoir is currently being made into a major motion picture. The book has been adopted by schools and communities as part of One School, One Book initiatives across the country.