A Reason to Stand’s next conference is January 9, 2020 in Rigby, Idaho! Read up about our amazing lineup of presenters below. Special thanks to our sponsors and the donation of the beautiful facility to make our event possible!

Purchase tickets to our event here:

Kechi Okwuchi: 

“My name is Kechi Okwuchi and I am a Nigerian-born 27 year-old who loves to sing. 
On December 10th 2005, I was headed home from boarding school for the Christmas holidays aboard a local airplane which crashed and killed 107 out of a 109 passengers, 60 of whom were fellow classmates and friends. I suffered third degree burns over 65% of my body, and I have had to undergo multiple intensive surgical procedures ever since. 
Two years into my treatments in America, I decided I wanted to finish high school and enter into a good university by my own merit. I had a strong support system- my family, my friends and my faith- who believed that I would be able to overcome my physical, mental and emotional obstacles and achieve my goal. In 2015, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of St. Thomas with a 3.8 in Economics & Marketing (BBA). Afterwards, I was the market analyst for AFRICAN League of Legends, where I helped with the development of a marketing campaign for an award show hosted by the non-profit organization in July 2016.
I am currently a graduate student, earning an MBA in Economics at my alma mater, and I worked as a graduate assistant at the Cameron School of Business for a time. Before America’s Got Talent, my most immediate goal was to obtain a summer internship at the UNFPA, which works to expand the possibilities for women and young children to lead healthy and productive lives worldwide. AGT was a huge and miraculous opportunity, the kind I could only dream of in the past, and I still can’t believe I became a top 10 finalist on the show! AGT opened new paths for me, and more recently I was invited back to the show to compete in the spinoff, AGT:The Champions! Now I intend to forge forward in faith with music as my goal.”-Kechi

Ashley Hess:

Local recording artist, Ashley Hess is an emerging singer/songwriter with a unique sound. She has shared the stage with popular artists such as, Andy Grammer, T-Pain, Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, Us the Duo, and many more. She started off with a bang, posting covers of popular songs on her self-titled YouTube Channel. This pop-soul artist has been entertaining listeners and viewers for the past two years, bringing in over 23,000 subscribers and over 3.2 million viewers. In 2015, she was presented the award for “Best Cover Song” at the annual Utah Music Awards. She is now working on original music and has just released her first single, “Into You” off of her upcoming EP, which will be released early next year. Stay up to date with her music and tour dates at
Ashley will be performing an original song written for this conference. You will not want to miss it. (video below is of one of her popular Youtube videos)

Ashlee Birk Boyson:

Ashlee (Birk) Boyson is the founder of A Reason to Stand. She is the author of the blog and book series entitled The Moments We Stand.  In them she tells of her personal journey of healing and seeking peace after the murder of her husband Emmett. On March 11, 2011 Emmett was shot and killed in a Walgreens parking lot in Meridian by the husband of a secret mistress. Ashlee was made a widow at the age of 28 with 5 children—the youngest being just six weeks old.

Her husband’s death left her with many messes to clean up—the hardest being her own broken soul as well as five others. She spent hours with detectives, Emmett’s business, a month long murder trial, and therapists . . . trying to piece together the broken pieces of the past. None of which helped her feel whole. Through her trials she has learned the importance of a personal relationship with her Heavenly Father. She has witnessed many miracles through the devastation of so much heartache. She has found light in the darkest of moments—and she has found hope when she thought it was lost. It is through Christ that true healing has come.

Ashlee’s story is very unique. As she has learned to embrace it, she has gained a greater testimony of hope and the strength it can be in her story.  She has come to find that the grace of Christ is powerful—not only in sin—but also in forgiveness and carrying you through some of your darkest moments.  She has felt the embrace of angels through every obstacle. The tender mercies have given her hope to stand tall and write a new story. 

Ashlee believes that every day is a gift—and in each one, she has learned to stand. 

Ashlee is married to Scott Boyson and they and their six kids live in Utah where they have learned to work hard, play hard, and make the most of every moment. 

Ashlee continues to write, and share her story, but even more than the story of the past, Ashlee is enjoying teaching about hope for the future, helping others remember Christ’s role in their life and apply grace to their story. 

Join us at our next conference on January 9, 2020 in Rigby, Idaho!

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