Behind the scenes at DYW
February 1, 2019
Formerly known as America’s Junior Miss, the Distinguished Young Women scholarship competition occurred in the Lee County multipurpose room on January 26.
The DYW program is a competition for junior girls, and it consists of four different categories: interview, self-expression, talent, and fitness.
The interview is with the contestant and six judges, and the contestants are asked questions for ten minutes. The self-expression category was second, and the contestants were asked, “If you had to give up one year of high school to serving your country, what would it be?”
The third category was talent, and it had to be less than 90 seconds long. Last, there was the fitness routine. All of the contestants were lined up to do the same fitness routine to demonstrate their fitness and energy level. The song that went with their fitness routine was “That Power” by Justin Bieber.
Competitiors this year included Ellie Gervero (11), Mona Ghimire (11), Hannah Elliott (11), and Madeline Conger (11).
The DYW competition was a learning experience for all four contestants, and it was a time for the girls to really show who they were to the judges and crowd.
One of last year’s competitors, Bhavya Gupta (12), was at the competition again to help the new competitors and give them some words of wisdom throughout the day.
“My advice to the girls was to have fun, be yourself, and I wanted them to carry with them that DYW is not really a competition,” Gupta said. “The only person you’re competing against is yourself, so it’s not worth getting caught up in that.”
Conger and Elliott took Gupta’s advice and used it throughout the competition. They both had different things to look forward to and different lessons and hopes they took away from that day.
“I was looking forward to the entire competition,” Conger said. “It was really cool that I was competing alongside some of my closest friends.”
Not only was DYW a chance for these four contestants to show how talented they truly are, but it was also a chance to grow closer as friends and recognize each other’s strong suits.
“I hope my friends were able to be comfortable and confident in themselves,” Elliott said. “I know they are all great people with great accomplishments.”
The four juniors will find out in March if they advanced to the State finals, but for now, they are content with their performance and are reminiscing about the fun time they had together.