VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK: Ashton Hotard gives her time to Good Shepherd

Published 8:00 am Sunday, January 29, 2023

This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week is Ashton Hotard, who volunteers at the Good Shepherd Community Center with the Junior Auxiliary. Hotard is a certified speech-language pathologist and the owner of Jubilee Therapy.

Hotard grew up in Southlake, Texas. She then received her BA in Communicative Disorders from The University of Mississippi and a Masters of Speech-Language Pathology from The University of South Alabama. Hotard has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 11 years and has experience in both geriatrics and pediatrics.

She moved to Vicksburg in 2017. She has a passion for helping children and noticed a need in Vicksburg and surrounding areas. Hotard opened Jubilee Therapy in the fall of 2018.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Her business has grown from a single office, originally on Belmont Street, to a larger multi-therapist space now located on South Frontage Road. She is happily married to her husband Pete and they have a 6-year-old daughter, Colette, and a 2-year-old son, Nolan. In her not-so-spare time, Hotard loves to travel, cook and spend time with family in Oxford watching the Rebels play.  

How did you start volunteering at Good Shepherd? 

I started working at Good Shepherd with Junior Auxiliary. I love working with children, so I knew I needed to be on the project with JAV Cares, which services Good Shepherd. 

What is your favorite memory while volunteering with Good Shepherd? 

There are so many. I truly love celebrating holidays with the children. Mardi Gras, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving; seeing their faces light up when the Easter Bunny or Santa comes in or when they line up for the Mardi Gras parade in the hallway. I always look forward to the hugs I receive from the children. 

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering? 

Volunteering is the most rewarding activity. I love giving my time and compassion to these children and the staff at Good Shepherd. As a volunteer, you can use your time and talents in many ways at Good Shepherd. 

What are some of your volunteer tasks at Good Shepherd?

I love reading to children, so our monthly or bimonthly book readings with a craft are so much fun. Sharing the love of reading is very rewarding. 

What have you learned from volunteering at Good Shepherd?

 I have learned that in giving, you receive so much more than receiving. 

Any additional comments? 

Good Shepherd has grown and blossomed since I have been volunteering there for the past four years. The staff is wonderful and has been a huge part of the success of the program. I primarily work with the childcare program, but there are many other programs that go on at Good Shepherd. I love seeing how not only the child but the whole family benefits from attending Good Shepherd. 

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com.