Saturday night, 12 rising senior girls from across Elmore County will participate in the Distinguished Young Women of Elmore County 2020 Scholarship Program.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. in the Wetumpka High School auditorium. 

Participants include Lauren Wood from Wetumpka High School, who hopes to attend the University of Alabama and major in business management; Taylor Goodman from Tallassee High School, who hopes to attend Auburn University with a career goal of working in pharmacy; Evan Hursey from Elmore County High School, who hopes to attend the University of South Alabama and major in secondary education; Rhianna Lumpkin from Elmore County High School, who hopes to attend Auburn University and be a music professor; Kennedy Mullis from Holtville High School, who hopes to attend Southern Union and become an ultrasound technician; Kaitlyn Pack from Elmore County High School, who hopes to attend Troy University and become a neonatal nurse; Orliyah Poole from Tallassee High School, who hopes to attend Southern Union and become a physician’s assistant/pediatrician; Madison Rayburn from Holtville High School, who hopes to attend AUM and work in communications and broadcasting; Sally Shipman from Tallassee High School, who hopes to attend the University of Alabama and become an occupational therapist; Ann Thornton from New Life Christian Academy, who hopes to attend Birmingham Southern and become a dentist; Blakley White from Holtville High School, who hopes to attend Troy University and major in elementary education, and Virginia Puckett from Montgomery Academy, who hopes to attend Samford University and major in speech pathology.

The program is sponsored by the Phi Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an educators’ organization. Organizers said these teachers give many hours of service to produce this event.

Participants will be evaluated on scholastic achievements, judges’ interview, talent performance, self-expression with an on-stage question and physical fitness. Scholarship and interview skills are the basis for 50% of the competition.

The program awards scholarship money to the college of the girls’ choices and the opportunity for other college granted scholarships. 

“This year’s program will award scholarships totaling over $6,000,” program chairpersons Mel Reese and Katie Cole said. “We want to thank all our local businesses, friends and family for supporting us. This program is based totally on donations.”

Last year’s winner was Mary Fran Healey and other preliminary winners from the Class of 2020 will be on hand to present awards. 

Admission is $10 per person with children age 5 and under free, and programs are $10. 

The winner will represent Elmore County at the statewide competition in Montgomery on Jan. 17-18. 

The Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama will then advance to the Distinguished Young Women of America’s competition. This is one of America’s oldest scholarship programs for senior girls. DYW inspires high school senior girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun experience that highlights their accomplishments. The program encourages young women to develop self-confidence and abilities to interview effectively, to speak in public, to perform on stage and to build interpersonal relationships. 

 “Our focus is to help these young ladies to receive scholarships to attend the college of their choice,” Reese said.