Seven juniors compete for DYW title


Courtesy/Marla Howell

DYW participants are ready for the program on March 11 at 6:30 p.m.

Kalifornia Gentry, Staff Reporter

   This year seven junior girls will be competing for the 2024 Distinguished Young Women title on March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the GCMS gym. 

   The participants for the program are Grace Morgan, Cailey Crosby, Maggie Ferguson, Jasmyne Jones, Alyssa Holland, Amy Smith and Jennifer Diaz.

     Every year a number of junior young women compete in the DYW program, a national competition that helps young women grow mentally and physically.

   “The DYW program gives girls in high school an opportunity to advance their leadership skills to give eye opening experience to create new friendships, as well as gain scholarships,” Junior Grace Morgan said.

   The girls practice a total of nine weeks. These practices consist of multiple events and occasions. They practice for a total of five categories: Scholastics, Fitness, Interview, Self Expression and Talent.Contestants will also be competing in an essay contest, where they will share their thoughts on what it means to be your best self. 

  The contestant will be competing for $8,000 to $10,000 worth in scholarships as well.     

   Each girl prepares herself in her  own ways for each of the categories. 

   “For self expression I have been going over a bunch of the practice questions to help myself come up with short answers quickly without talking too much on the subject. Interview I have worked on learning more about current events, making sure I stand with a good posture. I have worked on push ups for the workout portion, and for talent I have worked on dance.”  Junior Jazmyne Jones said.

   Other girls prepare by hiring interview coaches or working on better posture and speaking more clearly. 

   Each young woman competing in this program  has at least  one or more little sisters. The little sisters are sophomore girls preparing themselves for the upcoming year. The little sisters help support the contestants not lose their energy and keep their confidence as well as cheer them on.

   “I have worked to help Jazzy have more confidence in herself, also helping her keep her energy up,” sophomore Meredith Temple said.

   Some of the little sisters also spoke on how the program has helped them grow as an individual and helped them grow to compete. 

“The DYW program allowed me to become more confident as a person, have more fluent speaking, and make new friends as well,’ sophomore Saidee Walley said.

   The DYW competition goes on nationwide, these seven wonderful young women are putting in hard work every day to not only grow for the competition but to grow as a person as well.

   Tickets for the DYW competition are $10 and they are sold at John Sims, Central Bank, the highschool and the night of the competition at the door.