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Difference Maker: Ashley Schmider
Economics undergrad and avid volunteer, Duquense University
Name: Ashley Schmider
What do you do? I'm a full-time student at Duquesne University, and I also am Miss Pennsylvania Teen 2009!
Describe what you do on a daily basis: As a full time student, on a daily basis I am working to further my education at Duquesne University. As Miss Pennsylvania Teen 2009, each and every day I try to use my story and confidence to make a difference, no matter how small or large it may be.
What do you like to do outside of school? Outside of school I love being outdoors and active. I love to play soccer and I have a passion for running, especially on nature trails. Being with my friends is also important because during these times I am able to express my feelings and have fun!
How did you know you'd be a scientist someday? I can’t say that science is my profession but rather my passion. The environment has always been a huge part of my life and in elementary school I knew that some day I would make different in the world by protecting the plants and animals I loved. My passion for the environment has only grown stronger since then and everyday I try to make my life a little more green friendly..
What are the most difficult challenges of your work? The most difficult challenges I feel that I deal with are making people understand the importance of protecting the environment. Many people don’t understand or care to understand what it happening to the precious world around us and its hard face that reality when I’m at the grocery store and I’m telling the stranger next to me why to buy recycled paper plates and they look at my like I’m from another planet. Getting people to care about the environment like I do is definitely a challenge.
What's your favorite part of your work? My favorite part about being Miss Pennsylvania Teen is that I am able to spread the word about protecting the environment. Now when I tell one person or a group of people to “go green” their lives they actually take what I have to say into consideration. Its very rewarding to see people want to change their live styles because of what I’ve told them.
How do math and science change the world? Math and science change the world because they are subjects that can evolve. As the world changes, math and science are there to solve problems and create things that make life better and more effective. Diseases that were once life threatening can now be cured and now even the common cold can be prevented. We would not survive from generation to generation without math and science being part of our lives.
How are you changing the world? I feel that I am changing the world one step at a time as cliché as that sounds. I’m not a world-renowned mathematician or an award-winning scientist, but I am someone who wants to make a difference in the world and will do anything I can to meet that goal. As I said before, the environment is my passion and I have slowly got my family to help make our house green friendly. I tell friends and family environmental tips that can save them money and protect the environment in the process and I hope that my small steps will some day reach the whole world.
Who was your inspiration? My inspiration was Rachel Carson. She was an absolute amazing woman whose passion for protecting the environment helped shape the new and modern ways we are trying to save the world around us.
What was your favorite subject in school? Math!
What advice do you have for teen girls today? My advice for teen girls today is to always stay true to yourself.
Describe yourself in one word: Determined! I am determined to make a difference and make my voice heard and opinion heard!