Ali is a national speaker who shares her experience with embracing the gift of challenge, overcoming adversity and learning true resilience. As a sixteen year old, Ali became a volunteer firefighter and experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault, and years of bullying at the hands of her fellow firefighters. Unaware of how deeply the constant stress was affecting her, Ali began to change psychologically and emotionally until she was no longer mentally well. While struggling to pursue her passion for firefighting, Ali developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that kept her stuck in the past and kept her from engaging in life. Through working with a wonderful therapist and surrounding herself with the love and support of family and friends, Ali learned how to take her life back and live it freely. Ali was able to re-identify herself as a victor instead of a victim and loves helping people do the same.
As a life-long journal writer, Ali had been documenting her feelings and the events of her first few years in the fire service in an effort to bring closure. In the writing, she discovered she had a story to share and in 2010 she self-published Where Hope Lives which she also developed into a presentation and lesson plan that is currently being taught in high schools across the country.
Ali has served on numerous national committees working to make the fire service more inclusive and diverse. She has been a firefighter for 9 years and also works as an Emergency Medical Technician. Ali is passionate about sharing her struggles with bullying, adversity and a mental health crisis to encourage others to persevere through their challenges. Ali believes that we all have a reason to be hopeful about our futures, and she is thrilled at the opportunity to share her message through Minding Your Mind.