Distinguished Young Women contest set for Saturday night


A dozen seniors from local schools are in the running to be named the 2020 Distinguished Young Woman of Jackson County.

The annual contest is set for 6 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium at Brownstown Central High School, 500 N. Elm St., Brownstown.

The cost for admission is $8, and tickets may be purchased in advance from any of the contestants, organizers Jamie Temple or Barb Leffler or that night at the door.

This year’s contestants are Zoe Fountain, Ashley Schroer, Rachel Hildebrand, Emma Winks, Kaylee Branaman and Emily Koch, all of Brownstown Central High School; Rebekah Cook of Crothersville High School; Sydney Wiesehan, Morgan Sargent, Grace Rennekamp and Bridget Marshall, all of Seymour High School; and Abby Lemming of Trinity Lutheran High School.

The girls will compete for the chance to win scholarship money. They will be evaluated by a panel of five judges in the following categories: Scholastics (25 percent), interview (25 percent), talent (20 percent), fitness (15 percent) and self-expression (15 percent).

While scholarship money can be earned by winning one of the categories, only one will take home the largest prize and overall title.

During practices this week, the contestants learned a group fitness routine, which also includes time for each of the girls to come forward and display their skills.

The contestants also are practicing their individual talents and self-expression. The latter involves answering a question on the spot.

With scholastics, the judges will be given access to the contestants’ school transcripts to determine their overall scholastic ability. Then the interviews will be done Saturday afternoon.

Also, a people’s choice award will be presented. That honor, introduced two years ago, gives attendees a chance to vote for their favorite contestant and donate money to the program.

Businesses, organizations, industries and individuals interested in donating money may still do so this week so more can be presented to the winners. Checks may be mailed to DYW, P.O. Box 2, Seymour, IN 47274.

The winner will advance to the state competition in February in Kokomo, where she will vie for the opportunity to represent the state as the Distinguished Young Woman of Indiana for 2020.

That winner will move on to the 63rd Distinguished Young Women National Finals in June in Mobile, Alabama. There, she will join 50 other representatives from across the country in competing for cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America.

The reigning Distinguished Young Woman of Jackson County is 2019 Brownstown Central graduate Shauna Drake.

The program is in its 25th year in the county, starting as the Jackson County Junior Miss scholarship program.

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