Ashley Westerman

Host and Reporter

Ashley, born in Manila, Philippines, was adopted and raised in Western Kentucky. She is a 2010 University of Kentucky graduate with a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science. She also attended the University of Maryland for graduate studies in Journalism for one year. Ashley interned with Morning Edition at NPR Headquarters in Washington, DC, in 2011 and was hired afterward as a temp production assistant. In March 2012, Ashley started her reporting and hosting career at WRKF. She is also a member of the Center for International Journalists 2013 International Reporting Fellowship Program. In addition to public radio, Ashley also loves UK basketball, her Fantasy Football team, traveling and cats.

Ways To Connect

Louisiana Budget Project

A recent study by the Louisiana Budget Project gives a snapshot of the state’s economy from the perspective of the workers themselves.

Wikimedia Commons

Former governor Edwin Edwards and his biographer Leo Honeycutt will be on stage at LSU’s Union Theater Sunday with renowned talk show host Larry King.

Lynn Farmer

Share a picture of your pet enjoying WRKF on Facebook, Tweet @WRKF, or email your picture to

WRKF has a diverse listenership.

There is a dog who curls up next to the radio for the BBC World Service overnight, and another who prefers to listen to WRKF in the afternoon while lounging in the pool.

There are cats who purr at Elizabeth Eads hosting All Things Considered; a bird that sings the Weekend Edition theme song; a turtle and a lizard who crawl up to an iPad to see environmental news with the WRKF app.

All of them are well-informed members of the animal kingdom because of all that public radio listening.

And they will be drinking from the "I Heart NPR" bowl their families receive as a thank you for their monthly contribution to WRKF.

A report released Thursday by the Louisiana Budget Project says although worker productivity in the state is at an all-time high, wages remain stagnant and unemployment is on the rise.


Next Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the March on the Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

In 1963 hundreds of thousands rallied in the National Mall in DC for civil and economic rights for African Americans.  That rally is also where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his historic speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Few American mothers could fathom a situation that would force them to leave their country in order to put food in their children's bellies, clothes on their backs and send them to school. This is the reality for many Filipina women, who cross oceans in search of jobs that pay enough to provide for their families back home.

The Philippines is known worldwide for sending its citizens overseas to work, and a recent study has shown the country consistently deploys more women than men. In the United States, Filipinas are often nurses and caretakers; many work as nannies

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Since 2009, Louisiana and seven other states have been using a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to make Medicaid more accessible to those who are eligible.


Last month the Obama Administration pushed back the employee mandate under the Affordable Care Act by one year. Employers with 50 or more full-time workers now have until 2015 to either provide their workers with health insurance or face a penalty.

In states that are expanding Medicaid as part of the the new health law’s roll-out, businesses have more flexibility in deciding how to make sure their workers are covered. And though Louisiana is not participating, proponents of expanding Medicaid in the state see the delay of the employer mandate as a chance to rally some small business support.

Louisiana Dept. of Health and Hospitals

At the close of the recent legislative session, Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed additional funding to pay for services for the developmentally disabled.

Two weeks ago, an effort to override the veto failed.

The $3.9 million would have covered a partial year of comprehensive at-home disability services for an additional 200 people through what are called "New Opportunity Waivers".


A friend of mine told me that when I came into the Philippines two weeks ago, I should have told immigration I was a balikbayan.