SUPPORT FROM THE CROWN: Former SWSG mentor, Miss Pennsylvania, puts our program in the limelight.
Posted by Sabrina Saunders Sep 9, 2015
Sit down with Ashley Schmider, Miss Pennsylvania, and you’ll see that she’s beautiful, smart and confident. You’ll also see that’s she’s passionate about Strong Women Strong Girls. “Strong Women Strong Girls is so important because it reaches girls at a very influential time in their life,” says Ashley. “They’re being influenced by their peers and the adults around them, and Strong Women Strong Girls is making a difference by helping to raise their aspirations and grow their self-confidence.”
As a former SWSG mentor, Ashley is eager to tell the whole country about the benefits of the program. “When I was looking to choose a platform for the Miss America organization, I wanted something that I had firsthand experience with, that I was able to speak to from my heart. My dreams for Strong Women Strong Girls are endless, and I have such a vision for this program. By being able to pair Strong Women Strong Girls with the Miss America organization, I see growing this organization to every city in the United States.”
Miss Schmider first became involved with SWSG as a freshman at Duquesne University. “I really wanted to get involved with an organization,” remarks Ashley. “So when I heard of Strong Women Strong Girls, and then met some of the women on campus who were mentors, it was a really easy choice for me.”
Ashley was excited about becoming a role model for young girls in the community. “Growing up, I had the support of my family and friends, and I wanted to be that support for somebody else that maybe didn’t have that in their life.”
The experience has been life-changing for her as well. “You see as a mentor how these young girls are truly influenced by that relationship with a mentor. Being with them each week, that simple notion of showing up for them, is so important. And having that committed environment is really changing their lives.”
In a few weeks, when Ashley competes for the title of Miss America, she will take Strong Women Strong Girls to the stage with her. “I’m so blessed to have this opportunity. But Miss America or no Miss America, I will still come back as Miss Pennsylvania for the next year, promoting this organization and doing the best job I can of serving my state and my community. I think I’m a walking example that you can accomplish a lot of things. You don’t have to be just pretty or just smart or just a mother or just a career woman; you can really do it all. That’s why I love being part of this organization. I hope that I can continue to be a role model for young women and girls for the rest of my life.”
To young girls watching everywhere, Miss Pennsylvania has a few words of advice. “I want to tell young women that you can dream bigger than you ever thought before. What I thought was possible has truly exceeded anything in my life. And now I’m here sitting before you with this Miss Pennsylvania crown, and it’s something that I never even thought I would achieve.”
Strong Women Strong Girls wishes Ashley the best of luck at the Miss America contest. We couldn’t ask for a more passionate, well-spoken and beautiful representative for our organization.
Written By: Lynn Epstein