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Class act / An outstanding young Western New Yorker

Ashley Parker, a Buffalo State College scholarship student, says that although she has been challenged "in many different aspects of life," she has found time to reach out to those less fortunate through her work with Students in Free Enterprise.

"This is a wonderful organization that helps give back to the community," the 21-year-old said.

"The mission of SIFE is to provide opportunities for our community to become better citizens by impacting free enterprise, ethics, personal success skills, financial responsibility and market economics through global change."

Ashley, a senior, worked on a project with a Nicaraguan woman, who "is trying to start her own bike business," by assisting with fundraising through the sales of the Nicaraguan's handmade jewelry."

Her goal is "to help her purchase a building and provide the knowledge and tools she'll need to be successful," the business major said.

Ashley has also been "teaching high school students about global advertising" -- the differences between advertising campaigns from other countries.

Next school year she wants to become a SIFE officer.

"I'm always looking for ways to challenge myself," said Ashley, who also plays lacrosse.

"Lacrosse has taught me many life skills, such as teamwork, time management, setting goals and achieving them, problem solving and leadership," she explained.

In her junior year, Ashley was chosen to be team captain.

"There are 24 girls on the team, and I felt honored to be given this title," Ashley says.

Know a young outstanding Western New Yorker? Tell us about your nomination, including date of birth and address, for possible publication in Class act. Sorry, photos cannot be returned. E-mail, or write to: Louise Continelli, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240.

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