Monday, November 28, 2022

High School Juniors Invited to Participate in Distinguished Young Women Program

Distinguished Young Women of Lafayette County invites young women in their junior year of high school to apply to participate in the local scholarship program.

The program will be held on Jan. 21 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts in Oxford.

DYW is a national scholarship program that positively impacts the lives of young women by providing a transformative experience focusing on scholarship, leadership, and talent.

Cash scholarships are awarded at the local level and over $1 billion in cash and college-granted scholarships at the national level.

An informational session will be held on this Sunday at the Oxford Chamber of Commerce at 3 p.m. The deadline to apply is Nov. 15.

In addition to earning scholarships for college, participants in Distinguished Young Women develop friendships, self-confidence, and other life skills that pave the way for future success.

Participants will be evaluated in the following categories: Scholastics, 25%; Interview, 25%; Talent, 20%; fitness, 15%; and self-expression, 15%.

Distinguished Young Women offers an experience helping young women to grow and develop life skills such as interviewing, public speaking, self-confidence building, and community involvement. These skills not only prepare participants for the program but also for the world after high school and college while providing participants with a lifelong network of women.

Kiera Serrano

This past February, Keira Serrano was awarded the title of The Distinguished Young Woman of Lafayette County for 2023, earning $1,600 in cash scholarships from her local and state programs. She was a top 10 finalist in the state competition, which was held in Meridian this past July.

“Participating in the local Distinguished Young Women program taught me so much about myself, while also preparing me for real-word scenarios,” Serrano said. “Being able to gain these life experiences while also receiving scholarships to fund my college education has been life-changing and has encouraged me to be the best version of myself. All who participate become part of the DYW family and gain so much.”

Distinguished Young Women, formerly America’s Junior Miss, was founded in 1958 as a way to

reward the accomplishments of high school girls seeking to pursue higher education. This organization is the oldest and largest scholarship program for young women. More than 6,500 high school girls participate each year. Past AJM participants include Diane Sawyer, Debra Messing, Deborah Norville, Julie Moran, the late Mary Frann, Kim Basinger and Kathie Lee Gifford.

DWY’s national sponsors include Mobile County and the City of Mobile, Alabama Power Foundation, Regions Financial Corporation, Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, Jostens, and Gant Travel, Wellington and Bonnie Coffeen. The 66th annual Distinguished Young Women National Finals will be held in Mobile, Alabama, in June of 2023.

For more information and to apply online, visit Lafayette County | Distinguished Young Women (distinguishedyw.org), or contact Program Chairman Suzanne Helveston, suzannehelveston@gmail.com, 601-479-1506.


Staff report

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