Program for High School Girls Boosts Self Confidence
Coco Chanel said, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” Distinguished Young Women (DYW) is an organization that empowers young girls to be their best selves.
“Our hope is to inspire 11th-grade girls to develop their full potential through our free programs,” said Linda Greco, state chairman and Cherokee County resident. “The life skills the girls gain are invaluable and carry them way beyond college years. Our outstanding programs provide the participants with the tools they need to succeed in today’s world. I would love for more girls to benefit from what we have to offer.”
DYW was founded in 1958 in Mobile, Alabama, and is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. Originally known as America’s Junior Miss, the program’s mission is to encourage young women to reach their full potential while boosting confidence to chase dreams. The organization involves more than learning self-confidence; more than $1 billion in scholarships were available to graduating seniors in 2018, and more than 770,000 women have gone through the program since 1958.
“I would tell any girl considering participating in Distinguished Young Women to think no further, and sign up right away,” said Savannah Stanley, Distinguished Young Woman of Georgia, class of 2019. Stanley just graduated from high school as class valedictorian, and competed in the national competition in Alabama in June.
“My experience with DYW has given me access to a world of opportunities ranging from scholarships, to further pursue my education, to valuable connections and exposure to networking,” Stanley said. “Whether you already feel confident in all aspects of the program, or would be stepping outside of your comfort zone, there is so much for you to gain from DYW.”
During the program, each girl attends Life Skills Workshops to prepare for life after high school. Topics include interviews, public speaking, and Be Your Best Self, which is the official outreach of the DYW. Participants are encouraged to be balanced in five areas:
• Being Healthy
• Being Involved
• Being Studious
• Being Ambitious
• Being Responsible
Each program culminates in an on-stage showcase at the state level and then on to the national level. This year’s state final to choose the Distinguished Young Woman of Georgia class of 2020 will be held at the Marietta Performing Arts Center July 19-20. Elizabeth Dutch, past DYW of Georgia 2018 wrote in her message to the class of 2019: “I will continue supporting and volunteering with this program to ensure that other girls have the same opportunities because I have seen how it enriches the lives of young women across the nation.”
Registration for this free program happens during the fall of junior year. If you have a special rising junior girl in your life, who you know would benefit, she can apply online: http://distinguishedyw.org/apply-now. For more information, contact Greco at 770-827-7998 or Georgia@DistinguishedYW.org. Distinguished Young Women is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax deductible. http://GA.DistinguishedYW.org.
– Susan Schulz is a wife, mom, writer and mentor who lives and plays along the Etowah River in Canton.