Ashley tries to model what it means to be an effective leader by applying her knowledge to spark change. Compelled to action, Ashley Clarke is able to take her education beyond the scope of the classroom and connect her knowledge to day-to-day situations. This is particularly relevant when talking about computer science. Ashley saw a need to close the gender gap in computer science at her school. Therefore, she helped start a Girls Who Code Chapter at her high school. Additionally, she has interned at Trumbull Unmanned and worked alongside the Autonome Foundation to create STEM opportunities for females and minorities throughout the greater Houston area. Additionally, Ashley has taken initiative to make sure that every student at her high school has a strong math foundation. As the Mu Alpha Theta President, Ashley saw that many Algebra I students lacked rudimentary math skills. For this reason, Ashley has teamed up with the head of the math department and Algebra I teachers to meet their needs by creating a math intervention that includes tutorials every day after school. Ashley also excels at debate. As the President of the Varsity Bellaire Debate Team, Ashley is a three-time national qualifier and a two-time TOC qualifier. Currently, she is ranked 9th in Texas and 26th in the nation in Congressional Debate. Ashley will never be someone that can sit at the back of a room quietly without expressing her beliefs. She has used the knowledge she has acquired in debate to mentor middle schoolers in debate, teach public speaking at debate camps, and tutor other high school students in debate. In addition to debate, Ashley enjoys playing lacrosse. As the captain of the varsity team and the president of the Lacrosse Club, Ashley models what it means to be a student-athlete by pushing those around her to strive for greatness both on and off the field. Ashley not only helps plan practices, tournaments, and team activities but also she organizes tutorials for all of the players. At lunch, you can you can always find Ashley in the special education classroom. As the president of Best Buddies and a strong advocate for mental health, Ashley understands the importance of being a good friend to Bellaire’s students with intellectual disabilities. Before Ashley took over Best Buddies and planned the first-ever off-campus events, Bellaire’s students with IDDs had never experienced what it is like to have your friend paint your nails, watch a movie and eat popcorn, or go crazy playing Just Dance. Thanks to Ashley, Bellaire’s students with intellectual disabilities know that they belong to the larger Bellaire community. Ashley understands that the foundation of change is knowledge and that meaningful change will not happen without engaging in meaningful conversation. She sees technology as the medium to create change. Therefore, Ashley will pursue a degree in Finance and Data Analytics with a minor in Computer Science at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She will continue to strive to learn more about coding and technology so that she can create the skill set necessary to empower her to create change. Ashley does not want to stand idly by and wait for others to act. Rather, she wants to be the one to take the first step.