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BIO

Born and raised in Minnesota, Ava is a Dean’s List student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in journalism with plans to become a music entertainment reporter. Music runs in her blood, and she has been playing the guitar, singing, songwriting, and performing for the past 10 years.

 

For the past five years, Ava has served as a Youth Advisory Board member for PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which is the nation's largest anti-bullying organization. She is one of eight students from across the country chosen for this honor. She helps create Unity Day programming, is a voting member for the annual Unity Awards, and has captained multiple teams for PACER’s Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying event.

 

Ava is in her third year as a “Best Buddy” to her friend Elizabeth, who has Down Syndrome. In 2022, she had the honor of emceeing the annual Best Buddies Friendship Walk. After discovering that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are three times more likely to be bullied, Ava created a program called “Choose to Include,” focused on promoting kindness, acceptance, and inclusion for people with IDD. She presents her anti-bullying program to local elementary schools and hands out a specially designed bandana for students to tie onto their backpacks as a visual reminder to always be kind.

 

In high school, Ava was a member of the S.O.A.R. & Link Crew student leadership groups, Student Council, DECA, “A” Honor Roll, National Honor Society, lacrosse, dance, and swim teams. In 2022, Ava was one of 36 Minnesota high school juniors to receive the prestigious ExCEL award from the MN State High School League for excellence in school activities, leadership, and volunteerism. Ava was the first runner-up for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Student of the Year” program, where she and her childhood best friend raised $85,772 in seven weeks for blood cancer research. She also enjoys working with various animal rescue groups to promote pet adoption. 

 

Ava's love for travel has taken her to 34 countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe. She is a self-professed Star Wars geek, an “expert” turkey caller, and an avid downhill skier. 

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