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AMHERST, NY - Bryant & Stratton College and WGRZ-TV Channel 2 are proud to announce Courtney Russell of Tonawanda, NY as the first winner of The Great Give Back 2013.

There is no doubt that Courtney Russell is an amazing young lady in our community.

Courtney, who is now 15 years old was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome when she was just 6 years old.

Instead of letting the disease define her, Courtney decided to use it to help others.

For the past eight years Courtney has been making a difference in her community by volunteering her time to the Tourette Syndrome Association of Greater New York State, an organization founded by Sue Connors who has also displayed symptoms of TS since she was 6 years old.

The TSA of GNYS serves as an educational resource for children and families of those affected by Tourette Syndrome and works to help raise funds and awareness of the disease. It also offers support groups in six different regions throughout New York State.

Dedicated to this cause, Courtney has focused her efforts at the organization to the point where she now volunteers 30+ hours.

She volunteers at numerous fundraising events for the chapter, including walk-a-thons, chicken barbecues and can and bottle drives, and serves as a Youth Ambassador for the organization, going to area schools to help educate peers of students with TS.

Recently, Courtney recognized the need for a children's support group separate from the adult support group that was currently in place and took it upon herself to offer more of her time towards leading those meetings.

When asked why she felt the need to dedicate so much of her time to charity, Courtney's response was simple: "I feel like it's the right thing to do."

As the first winner of The Great Give Back 2013, Bryant & Stratton College has donated $1,000 to the Tourette Syndrome Association of Greater New York State.

To nominate yourself or someone who you think deserves to be recognized for their community involvement visit www.wgrz.com/greatgiveback.

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