The Winston FamilyTerri Winston-Abri
"The people of Berkley Town are a part of Ashland."
Ms. Terri Winston-Abri was originally born in Berkley Town on February 4, 1956. As a child, she spent her youth growing up in a house that now belongs to her aunt, Carrie Burton. As Ms. Winston-Abri was beginning her tenth grade year of high school, she moved to Ashland Town Square (ATS) until she graduated high school. She attended Virginia Union University for one year and then left "because the money was not there". She attended a few junior colleges thereafter but leaned more towards working and being an entrepreneur. There was even one point in her life when she was maintaining three jobs.
"Everything, basically, is focused around what you think you know, what you think you want and where you think you're going...whatever it is that you think you want to do, that's not always necessarily where you're going to end up."
In 1978, Ms. Winston-Abri moved from ATS to Alexandria, Virginia where she then soon married during September of that same year, the main reason she left being that the opportunities in terms of employment were limited. Her son was born the following year in November of 1979. Ms. Winston-Abri lived in Alexandria until 1990 when she decided to make the move back to Ashland, primarily because her son became tired of traveling. Since the year 1990, Ms. Winston-Abri has been a faithful resident of Berkley Town.
"This is home. It's home for them. It's home for me. That's the reason I came back because of all the places I had lived, this was home."
As a community activist and Berkley Town leader, Ms. Winston-Abri believes that Berkley Town is much a part of Ashland. Her perception of Berkley Town and it's residents is a positive one in which she feels as though as much as the residents wish to be a part of Ashland, they are.
"I spearheaded Ashland being rezoned…they wanted to put us in a different district…our voting rights would have been violated.”
As a result of her fondness of Berkley Town and its residents, Ms. Winston-Abri is an involved member of her community. She is the coordinator of the Neighborhood Watch program in her district. In addition to her commitment to the community’s safety, she is also a member of the Parks and Recreation Committee for Ashland. Also, she sings in her church’s choir. Most importantly, she attends meetings of the Berkley Town Community Development group and relays important information back to the community that she feels is relevant to the community as a whole.
"As you increase with wealth, your need for each other decreases. People have a tendency to move away from what was the core."
In addition, Ms. Winston-Abri feels as though the general sense of community was stronger when she was younger as opposed to now because people have different needs. She felt as though her neighbors were in a sense "extended family." One reason that Ms. Winston-Abri believes can be attributable to this change is the fact that opportunities for minorities were limited at the time and there were not many chances to propel yourself into an "upwardly mobile place." Many of the people of Ms. Winston-Abri's generation left due to the lack of opportunity and "there was a need for people to have their own lifestyles and to be able to prosper and so they had to go outside of the community to do it."
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