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Ashley Schmider, Miss Pennsylvania 2015

Ashley SchmiderAshley Schmider was crowned as Miss Pennsylvania in June 2015, just two years after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in economics from the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business. While at Duquesne, Ashley was involved with the Strong Women, Strong Girls (SWSG) mentoring program, helping to grow the chapter to a "Mega Chapter" as an executive director with over 50 mentors. SWSG is an award winning curriculum-based mentoring organization that works to counter the social pressures that discourage girls in under-resourced communities. The mission of SWSG is to support positive mentoring relationships between college women and pre-adolescent girls.

Ashley's pride in the success of this organization has led her to choose to continue her work as an advocate and mentor for the Strong Women, Strong Girls program throughout her reign as Miss Pennsylvania 2015 in order to elevate the mission of the organization.

"I had the opportunity to be part of a great team during my time with the SWSG chapter at Duquesne University. I feel I was able to grow as a leader by understanding my part in the bigger picture and developing the ability to hone in on my special skill sets that contributed to the success of the orgainzation."  Involvement with SWSG at Duquesne helped Ashley build her confidence to pursue the Miss Pennsylvania title. "Strong Women, Strong Girls has prepared me for my professional career and the Miss America organization and I am so excited to be able to pass that opportunity on to fellow Duquesne students. The women and girls of this organization showed me that by empowering others you're able to empower yourself and truly grow into the best person you can be," she said.

Ashley has been grateful for the opportunity to share her story, positively impact her community, and prepare herself for graduate school. After graduation, Ashley was hired by KPMG LLP, working in the area of regulatory risk consulting for the financial industry with a focus on large bank clientele. She plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with the scholarship funds provided by the Miss Pennsylvania and Miss America Organizations.