A local 20-year-old strutted her stuff on the world stage and won the international title and crown of Miss Fashion Week Petite in America.
Ashlee Jolliffe, from Collingullie, competed in Dallas, Texas, in early December and hopes to empower young women in the Riverina to build their self-confidence and resilience.
“I’m going to keep using my title to promote self-love and happiness as I think many girls go into these competitions wanting to feel good about themselves, but you need to love yourself first,” Ms Jolliffe said.
“There was a stage where I really wanted to give up on these competitions; I wasn’t confident or happy with myself and therefore I was getting disappointed and upset with my performances on stage.
“It’s something I’ve tried to work on and this is what I want to help other girls with.”
Ms Jolliffe said she is still reeling from her crowning where she competed against 30 other girls.
“I am still in shock and I was not expecting anything,” she said.
“We were going over there to learn and for an experience so I was not expecting to walk off with a title and to do so, is really amazing.”
Her number one fan is her mother Karen who said she was surprised that Ashlee has made it to this level in just a year.
“It was a surprise in the sense that we never experienced this to happen so quickly but I’m not surprised because of the belief I have within Ash,” she said.
“Living with her and seeing how she’s grown from when she was a kid to now, Ash is an excellent role model and has an ability to attract all types of people from ages and diversities.”
Mrs Jolliffe said Ash has learnt to believe in herself and follow her dreams.
“Ash has had such a turbulent ride through different things and she’s gone through a journey to find herself to be the young woman is she now,” Mrs Jolliffe said.
“Being able to stand up and she had very strong morals and very strong beliefs and being able to stand up and do what is right for her and not what is right for somebody else is a really big thing for young people to learn.
“Ash still has a lot to learn but also a lot to give.”