Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, May 22, 2015
Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Suburban Auto Graduation 2015

Home : News : Nation and World
Catholic teen uses musical talent to help motivate kids to save planet
Catholic News Service photo
Fourteen-year-old Catholic high school student Ashley Cortes says the one thing she wants to inspire in kids is
Catholic News Service photo
Fourteen-year-old Catholic high school student Ashley Cortes says the one thing she wants to inspire in kids is "if you set your mind to something, you can definitely achieve it." Ashley is one of the 10 artists who recorded volume one of "Pacha's Pajama s," a cartoon about protecting the environment. She is pictured in an undated publicity photo.
Catholic News Service


WASHINGTON — Fourteen-year-old Catholic high school student Ashley Cortes says the one thing she wants to inspire in kids is "if you set your mind to something, you can definitely achieve it."

Ashley is one of the 10 artists who recorded volume one of "Pacha's Pajamas," a cartoon about protecting the environment.

"Pacha's Pajamas" is a project of Aaron Ableman, an educator and its author. What started as a story he told his younger brother turned into a book, a pop musical and a soundtrack of the musical released in September. Pacha, the cartoon character star of the show, is a city girl who is trying to change the world by focusing on environmental stability and childhood health.

Besides Ashley, he selected other young artists such as Ariana Hernandez and Milo McFly to be featured along with major stars such as hip-hop artist Mos Def.

Ashley, whose stage name is "Ashlie Cortez," plays piano, guitar and bass and writes her own compositions that she recorded as an album, "Make It Through," released online this year.

For "Pacha's Pajamas," she is the voice of the character Hummingbird. Her song tells of the importance of music and is the first song from the soundtrack to be made into a music video.

Ashley said Pacha's message to follow your dreams is what makes her passionate about her role in the production.

"It's a good message for young kids saying you can do what you can set your mind to," she said. "Helping the environment is one of the ways that can help change the world."

This concern Ashley has for the environment sprouted even before she was part of the "Pacha" project when she went to a science camp in seventh grade. Her mother said she wouldn't even kill a spider when she came home because "it wasn't doing anything to hurt her."

"Nature is important because it's one of God's creations, we don't want the earth to be getting worse, if we work together we can make it more beautiful," Ashley said.

Ashley is a freshman St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School in Vallejo, Calif., where she is part of the women's choir. Her mother, Menchie Cortes, said she always believed in raising Ashley in the church.

"I want to raise her to have faith," said Mrs. Cortes. "Every night I pray with her before she goes to bed. She knows if you have faith in God everything will come smoothly."

The Cortes family belongs to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in the Diocese of Sacramento, Calif., and Ashley periodically sings in the church choir.

Ashley said she is honest about her faith to her fans. "I am proud of my faith. I have nothing to hide about that," Ashley told Catholic News Service.

Her love for music was obvious when she started singing before she could talk at age 2.

"I knew she had a talent so I might as well support her singing," said her mother. "I enrolled her at 7 years old for voice lessons, I asked her if she wanted to play piano, and now we can't stop her."

Ashley is a regular performer at open mic nights around where she lives in Fairfield, Calif., and in her family's native Philippines. At the end of December, she plans to go back to the Philippines to promote "Pacha's Pajamas."

Ableman has traveled the world as an educator. In India and Haiti, he produced entertaining educational programs for at-risk youths. His hope for "Pacha's Pajamas" is to turn this pop/hip-hop musical and book into a multi-platform educational tool to teach children about empowering themselves and protecting the environment.

His next step is to produce a curriculum for the classroom, and a TV cartoon using the story line of Pacha.

"We are storytelling across media platforms to build a children's franchise, we want this to be the next 'Sesame Street' or 'Dora,'" he said in an interview with CNS.

The topics covered in "Pacha's Pajamas," Ableman said, "transcend creed and race."

"These are very universal messages that we have honed in on because of how divided we see a lot of our world is today," he said.

Ashley isn't sure what her dreams are yet, but she knows she will continue doing music and promoting "Pacha's Pajamas." She and her family emphasize prayer as the key to handling whatever comes next.

Before getting an offer to be part of the "Pacha's" project, "I was feeling really down," Ashley said. "I started praying. A few minutes later 'Pacha's' called me and I became a part of this thing. This tells me how the power of prayer really helps."



Advanced Search













Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2015 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved