Distinguished Young Women Programs Set For Nov. 16

Twenty-one young ladies will participate in Jackson County’s two Distinguished Young Women programs on Nov. 16 at Singing River Elementary School on Gautier-Vancleave Road.

Two winners will be selected to represent the county in the state program, one from east Jackson County and one from west Jackson County. The west program starts at 2 p.m. and the east program starts at 7 p.m.

Participants, all juniors in high school, have a chance to win college scholarships. Last year more than $15,000 was awarded locally. Girls are judged in the following five categories: scholastics (25 percent), interview (25 percent), self-expression (15 percent), talent (20 percent) and fitness (15 percent). Interviews will be Friday night and Saturday morning. Scholastics are rated prior to the program by a panel of academic experts who review the girls’ grade transcripts and college entrance exams. The other three categories will be judged during the program.

East Jackson County participants are Makenzie Rich, daughter of Scott and Rita Bailey and Steven and Jamie Rich, Kate Wright, daughter of Mike and Allyson Hammond Wright, Ally Bates, daughter of Jason and Kelly Glaskox, Lillian Williams, daughter of Robert and Kathy Williams and Mark and Farrah Hall, Olivia Wachsman, daughter of John and Jamey Wachsman, Savana Duke, daughter of Charles Duke and Candace Marie Neal, Amaya Smith, daughter of Alan and Ashley Smith, Avery Turner, daughter of Shane and Kelli Turner, Rebecca Hill, daughter of Ron and Ramona Hill, and Anna Welborn, daughter of Greg and Denise Welborn.

West Jackson County participants are Dara Hanna Jones, daughter of Bubba and Dorian Jones, Anna Valenzuela, daughter of Joel Valenzuela and Maria Anchondo, Marissa Bosarge, daughter of William and Vicki Bosarge, Roxanne Ruscio, daughter of Marcus and Kimberly Ruscio, Evan Cain, daughter of Ted and Julie Cain, Maura Kaye Hubbard, daughter of Mark and the late Courtney Hubbard, Manuela Lopez, daughter of Kevin and Gabrielle Lopez, Sophie Perkins, daughter of William and Kecia Perkins, Tori Rex, daughter of Vaughn and Lisa Rex, Avery Sams, daughter of Bradley Sams and Dr. Sheli Milam, and Meredith Dudte, daughter of Ben and Angela Dudte.

Last year’s local winners were Rylee Sharpton from the east and Amelia Carmichael from the west.

Distinguished Young Women is a college scholarship program founded in 1957 and formerly known as Junior Miss. The two winners will represent Jackson County in the state program next summer in Meridian.



Written by Nancy Jo Maples

Nancy Jo Maples is an award-winning journalist who has written about Mississippi people and places for more than 30 years. A former daily staff news reporter for the Mississippi Press, she currently writes for various media and teaches communication at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Reach her at [email protected].


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