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State Honoree

Ashley Shuyler

Colorado

Ashley Shuyler, 17, of Golden, Colo., a senior at Colorado Academy in Denver, founded a non-profit organization that has raised more than $40,000 to put 10 girls through secondary school in Tanzania and to provide supplies to girls’ schools in that African nation. Ashley’s idea germinated many years ago when she traveled to Africa for a wildlife safari. “The people I met there lived in poverty unlike anything I had seen before,” she said. “I returned home with a new awareness of just how blessed we are here in the U.S., and just how many opportunities we have.” A few years later, after meeting two missionaries who had started a school for Maasai girls in Tanzania, Ashley decided to focus on helping young African women get an education. She began seeking the assistance of friends, neighbors and family members, and before long, she had established a non-profit organization called AfricAid. She produced a brochure to describe her mission, developed a newsletter, launched a website, and over the past two years has spent countless hours speaking to church groups, civic clubs, school organizations and others about her cause. Her fundraising so far has yielded more than $40,000 in cash and supplies, including textbooks and computers, for schools in Tanzania.