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Distinguished Young Women set for Saturday

Pictured are, from left to right, the 2016 Distinguished  Young Woman contestants, Haley Ward,  Ascia Brown, Hannah Mathis, Railey Ayers, Tiara Cowart and Mary Strickland.

Pictured are, from left to right, the 2016 Distinguished Young Woman contestants, Haley Ward, Ascia Brown, Hannah Mathis, Railey Ayers, Tiara Cowart and Mary Strickland. (photo by Beth Hyatt)

This Saturday night, contestants from all across Crenshaw County will have the opportunity to compete in the scholarship program known as Distinguished Young Women (DYW).

Formally known as America’s Junior Miss, the Distinguished Young Women program is the largest and oldest scholarship program of its kind for high school senior girls. Since it first began in 1958, the program has continued to grow each year.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for high school senior girls around our county to earn scholarship money,” said program director Mallory Carpenter.

“It is not only a program that promotes young women to be proud of their accomplishments, but to embrace their differences.”

The national finals are held in Mobile, Ala., and the state finals are held in Montgomery, Ala. each January.

Each participant will compete in five different categories: interview, scholastic, self-expression, talent and fitness. These categories give contestants the chance to display how well rounded they are.

“As a former Junior Miss, this program means a lot to me,” Carpenter said.

“It opened up many opportunities for me as a young woman entering college. It has also provided some lifelong friendships that I am forever grateful for.”

This year’s contestants are as follows: Railey Ayers, Crenshaw Christian Academy; Tiara Cowart, Highland Home School; Mary Strickland, Brantley High School; Ascia Brown, Luverne High School; Haley Ward, Highland Home School; and Hannah Mathis, Highland Home School.

The program will take place at the Luverne High School auditorium on Saturday, June 18 at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale for $7 and programs will be on sale for $3.