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February 17, 2014

Young women vie for coveted title in scholastic program

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Nine Distinguished Young Women (DYW) participants are preparing for the upcoming showcase in hopes of becoming one of two local representatives in the state program. 

“We have been rehearsing and preparing for the show for a month and a half. We rehearse at least two hours every Sunday, and the girls practice on their own as well,” said Sara Stone, chair of the local program. “This year’s theme is ‘Welcome to the Jungle, Hear Us Roar.’ This year we’re all about being strong, confident women; the world is our jungle.”

The high school juniors will showcase their talents and knowledge to the public at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 2 in the Goldstein Center for the Performing Arts on the Georgia Military College campus. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the door.

“We’re a nonprofit organization, so all of the money we raise through the show and donations is distributed back to the individual girls in the form of scholarships,” Stone said. “With community support, we can continue to offer scholarship opportunities for these young women.”

During the show, a panel of judges will critique each girl — interview and talent for 25 percent each; scholastics for 20 percent; and fitness and self expression for 15 percent each. The Baldwin County DYW and Milledgeville DYW will be awarded a $1,500 cash scholarship each and have the chance to advance to participate at the state level this summer.

“At the state level, the bar gets raised and the girls have to step it up a notch because they’re competing against the best in the state,” Stone said. “Whoever wins Georgia will go on to the national level.”

This year’s DYW participants are Baldwin High School juniors Jolena Yao, Alyshia Martinia Reyes, McKayla Jill Burgamy, Morgan Leigh Crooms, Michelle Batchelor, Morgan Allyse Pendergast, Isabella Collazos and Keleigh Erin McGill; and Georgia Military College Prep School junior Bronte Taylor Amelia Joseph.

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