For more than sixty years, The Distinguished Young Women program has awarded college scholarships to high school juniors and teaches them skills that could come in handy in their various career endeavors.
“They’ve all competed in a local program. Now, they’re in a state program, it’s a scholarship program designed to give girls life skills going forward, public speaking interview process things of that nature, but also highlight their scholastic performance in school and involvement their communities,” said Sid Wilkinson, state chairman.
Competitors come from all over the central and southern parts of Mississippi.
“I want to be a part of Distinguishing Young Women because of what it stands for which is be your best self, it stands for be healthy, be ambitious, be studious, be responsible,” said Samaria Swims Grenada County contestant.
" I was a little sister last year at my local program and after seeing everything that they did, it really inspired me to take past as well, “said Rylee Sharpton East Jackson contestant.
Lori Feng the 2019 Distinguishing Woman of Mississippi says having good characteristics is one factor that could lead contestants to victory.
“I would say it takes a woman who is really passionate about DYW and is really passionate about the motto to win, I think it’s also really important to point out that a lot of the girls who become involved in the program don’t do it to win. I think what’s more important is what last beyond the week of the program, “said Lori Feng 2019 Distinguishing Woman Of Miss.
Contestants will spend an average of six hours a day practicing for the preliminary show night.”
“I would say that every girl should just be their best selves and just do their best. I would just say that all of the girls should really soak in the experience and have the best time of their lives because this is a really unique opportunity,”said Lori Feng 2019 Distinguishing Woman Of Mississippi.