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Local high school places second in international competition

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WBFO News photo by Ashley Hassett
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By Ashley Hassett

Buffalo, NY – A group of Buffalo high school girls advanced to the final round of an international competition Monday.

The Holy Angels Academy SAGE team earned second place in the event.

SAGE stands for Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship. It is a high school organization that allows students from around the world to come up with business projects that promote social responsibility. The SAGE Championship finals took place from July 22-25 at Canisius College.

The competition featured more 80 teenagers from 14 countries. Results of the competition were announced Monday night at a dinner and awards presentation.

The Holy Angels' team won two gold medals for millennium development goals, including one for empowering women. The Academy's presentation team, which represented the United States in the Social Enterprise Business category, is comprised of Heather Wilson '11, Hannah Greene '11, Angela Maggio '12, Jenna Walczak '13 and Kelly Patterson '14.

The Holy Angels SAGE team has been publishing children's books that teach kids in other countries about the issues going on where they live. Profits from the books go to those in need. There efforts helped those in the Congo to restart a chicken coop business, aiding water purification with LifeStraws, and helping to fund a bee keeping business.

Holy Angels SAGE business advisor Brian Carrier said the club is teaching the girls more than business ethics.

"The whole idea is to tie business to make it socially responsible and that's what the girls are doing, there off the charts socially. There out to save the world," said Carrier.

Holy Angels Sage team member Jenna Walczak said the organization is not only allowing her to change the lives of others, but changed her life.

"When I joined SAGE as a freshman, I never imagined how it would change and impact my life. I've just gained so much confidence from this, and I never imagined I would be standing in front of a room of business people and telling them my ideas, and they would actually be listening to me. It's just been amazing," said Walczak.

Holy Angels captured second place after competing Monday against teams from Nigeria, South Africa and Canada.

The SAGE team from Nigeria placed first in the Social Enterprise Business category and teams from Canada and South Africa placed third and fourth respectively.

The Holy Angels' SAGE team has competed for six years, and this is its fourth World Cup appearance in a row. Faculty moderator for SAGE is Ms. Meg Venne.