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Senior girls vie to be Distinguished Young Woman

Nine rising seniors will compete for the title of Pike County’s Distinguished Young Woman on Aug. 25.

The nine young women who will compete for the title of Pike County Distinguished Young Woman will be assisted in the pageant by their “little sisters.” Above are, seated from left, little sis Olivia Schroeder, 2011 PCDYW Carla Faulkner, little sis Ragan Knotts; center row standing from left, little sisters Lacey Stallworth, Maggie Tisdale, Kelsey Terry and Sarah Sanford; and standing in back from left, contestants Kori Chirico, Olivia Hudson, Mallory Franklin, Jamilya Coleman, Emily Wise, Randi Childs and Kendra Hampton. Not pictured are contestants Tyliyah Shanae Hooks and Jordan Mykala Bonner as well as little sister Hannah Gordon.

The program, an offshoot of the Junior Miss Program, provides scholarship opportunities to young women who excel in the areas of academics, fitness, talent, self-expression and interview.

“We’ve got nine young women who are competing this year,” said Holly Pugh, a volunteer who is helping coordinate this year’s program. “The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship. The first runner-up will receive a $500 scholarship and the second runner-up will receive a $200 scholarship.”

The DYW Dance Crew will provide entertainment during the Pike County Distinguished Young Woman program on Aug. 25. Members of the dance crew include, front row from left, Addison Armstrong, Kennedy Robertson, Lexie Terry, Hudson Jones, Eavie Kate Lindsey; middle row from left, Isabelle Morrissee, Abbi-Kay Terry, Dee Allen, Ella Cate Gunter and Ensley Eakes; and back row from left, Mary Britton Hicks, Kiley Edenfield, Maggie Edwards, Tate Gardner and Mary Michael Hussey.

Additional scholarships will be awarded in the personal fitness category, interview, scholastic achievement, “Be Your Best Self” and talent. The latter is a $500 award, sponsored by the Troy Jaycees, Pugh said.

This year’s contestants include: Kathryn Kori Chirico, Jhakendra Rakia Hampton, Mallory Kathryn Franklin, Tyliyah Shanae Hooks, Jordan Mykala Bonner, Randi Danielle Childs, Olivia Hudson, Emily Wise and Jamilya Rashida Coleman.

The participants will practice and compete throughout the week next week, and the final night of competition begins at 6 p.m. Aug. 25 at Claudia Crosby Theater on the Troy University Campus. The winner, who will be crowned by 2011 PCYWD Carla Faulkner, will represent Pike County in the state competition in December.