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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - "I wanted the platform to make change in my community," said Ashlee Thomas, a Western New York native now competing for Miss Black USA.
Thomas has been passoniate about the community and performing since she was little. After graduating from Cleveland Hill High School in Cheektowaga she set off to study at Howard University.
"I was there for four years in Washington D.C.," said Thomas.
She completed her undergraduate studies at Howard University and then decided to make another move.
"I decided I wanted to go to dental school so I applied to the University at Maryland in Baltimore and I got in," said Thomas. "I'm completing my doctorate for dental surgery right now."
Her days are long. Thomas is working on patients five days a week all while preparing for the national Miss Black USA pageant.
"My platform for Miss Black Maryland was really to create literacy programs for children, to promote education and really to promote esteem especially in young girls," said Thomas.
The national competition will be held on August 7, in Washington D.C. Before that day comes you can help this Western New Yorker secure a spot in the finals.
"Through the votes, whoever wins people's choice is an automatic finalist," said Thomas.
If you'd like to vote for Thomas to get her one step closer to the crown, click here.