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Ron Rice
   
Kathryn Forsyth, Director
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For Release: March 2, 2005


State Board Recognizes Student Anti-Tobacco Activist and Advocate

The State Board of Education today recognized Ashley Sobrinski, a student at Ocean City High School in Cape May county, as its March Student of the Month.

Ashley has been honored and recognized by her peers and several anti-smoking national organizations for her tireless work in the anti-tobacco movement. She single handedly spearheaded a campaign to make the Ocean City boardwalk smoke-free and won. She has also successfully fought to make Cape May County Zoo a smoke free zoo and is currently working with Cape May county freeholders to adopt a smoke-free policy for all county parks.

"We are always proud of New Jersey public school students like Ashley Sobrinski who see a problem and do something about it," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "Ashley exhibits the best in all of us by assuming her civic responsibility and working to make a difference in her community and throughout the nation."

"Ashley is a one person agent for positive change in her community who merits recognition," said State Board President Arnold G. Hyndman. "Her commitment to literally saving the lives of fellow Cape May county residents and raising awareness is as honorable of an undertaking as this Board has seen."

"Ashley Sobrinski’s prowess at making public places in her county smoke-free is only eclipsed by her commitment to improving her community in so many other ways," said Commissioner of Education William L. Librera. "Her outstanding level of volunteer work with other groups and organizations in and outside of her high school is nothing short of remarkable. I am pleased to join the State Board in bestowing this honor to this special student."

In addition to Ashley’s vast community service work on behalf of the anti-tobacco movement, she manages to find the time to volunteer with such organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, MS Walk America, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She is also a member of her school’s Key Club, Concert Choir, Drama Guild, and Prom Committee. Ashley maintains a 4.2007 grade point average which ranks her in the top 4% of her class.

Asley Sobrinski has also been the recipient of many awards and honors based on her work and success. She has received the National Youth Advocate of the Year award from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (2004), the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke-Out Award (2002), the Points of Light award (2004), and the Who’s Who Among High School Students award to name a few.

Each month during the school year, the State Board recognizes a student or group of students for their accomplishments in community service, the arts, academics, and sports. In February, the State Board honored the junior ROTC programs at North Plainfield and Franklin High Schools, both in Somerset County.

For more information, please contact the Department of Education’s Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.