SEND-OFF: Pike County’s DYW heads to state competition next week
Published 3:00 am Friday, January 8, 2016
Pike County Distinguished Young Woman Morgan Vardaman will participate in the 59th Distinguished Young Women of Alabama program Jan. 15 and 16 at Frazer United Methodist church.
Morgan and 51 other high school senior Distinguished Young Women from across Alabama will arrive in Montgomery today to begin practicing and attending various events in the Montgomery area.
While in Montgomery the DYW representatives stay with host families. Morgan will be staying with Kent and Kaye Melnick-Cramer. Her roommate will be Keely Templeton, the DYW representative form Lawrence County.
Candi Howard-Shaughnessy, DYW Troy board member, said a reception was held for Morgan Sunday afternoon at Sips on the Square in downtown Troy. A large number of family members and friends gathered to send her off with tons of well wishes.
“We all wish Morgan good luck at the 20156 DYW of Alabama competition,” Shaughnessy said.
Morgan plans to enroll at Troy University or the University of Alabama and major as an undergraduate in communicative disorders with plans to become a speech pathologist. She is the daughter of Drs. Lee and Shellye Vardaman of Troy.
During the week, the young women will visit various groups and community venues while preparing for the program.
The 52 participants will compete for $41,000 in cash scholarships and over $2 million in college granted scholarships as well has having the opportunity to represent the state as the Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama for 2016.
The young women will be evaluated by a panel of five judges in scholastics, interview, fitness, self-expression and talent.
The participant selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama will advance to the national level at the 59th Distinguished Young Women National Finals in Mobile in June. There, she will join with 49 other state representatives in competing for cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America.
Founded in 1958, Distinguished Young Women (formerly Junior Miss program) is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls.
It is free to participate and Vardaman and local board members will recruit for the 2017 program in area high schools beginning in February.