Cerritos-Artesia Distinguished Young Women (DYW), a scholarship program designed to empower high school women by providing scholarships, developing life skills and encouraging positive values, is set to return to Cerritos on Apr. 1 at the auditorium.
The Cerritos-Artesia DYW, which encourages the participants to “Be Their Best Selves,” is a scholarship contest that has been promoted by the community since 1975, according to event organizers.
This year's winner will represent Cerritos-Artesia at the state competition, and the state winner will compete nationally for the 2013 DWY title.
Last year’s , earning more than $18,000 in scholarships for college. She will be competing in the DYW national competition in Alabama in June.
2013 DYW Co-chair Becky Lingad said she is excited to be a part of such a great program, “It’s good for the kids and it teaches young women to be more confident.”
What is the DYW Program About?
The program is open to high school juniors residing in Cerritos and Artesia and is not a beauty pageant since girls are judged on academics, talent, fitness, poise and a judge’s interview.
Juniors from all the local high schools, including Valley Christian, were encouraged to participate. One participant this year is from Mayfair High School and is a Cerritos resident.
The girls will have an opportunity to showcase excellence in academic achievement, physical fitness, on-stage performance skills, and the ability to think and communicate clearly. Lastly, they need to foster opportunities to beneficially inspire the lives of others.
The community has supported the Cerritos-Artesia DYW program since its inception and $4,500 in scholarships were awarded last year’s winners. Awards are presented in the categories of:
- Spirit of Distinguished Young Woman
- Distinguished Young Woman Alternate
- Distinguished Young Woman Winner
This year, more than 40 participants have applied and will be encouraged to develop self-confidence, interview effectively, speak in public, perform on stage and build interpersonal relationships. They will practice the fitness routine and self expression with the assistance from former Cerritos-Artesia DYW.
Six practices are scheduled for the contestants at Mary Bragg Elementary School on Mar. 12, 14, 19, 21, 27 and 28.
Community Organizations Support Annual Event
The Rotary Club of Cerritos-Artesia and the City of Cerritos are local sponsors of the event, and the ongoing support of the Cerritos Optimist Club and the Soroptimist International of Artesia-Cerritos provide the program with the financial foundation to award deserving DYW scholarships for their achievements.
History of DYW
Founded in 1958 in Mobile, Alabama, DYW is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. During more than 50 years of operation, DYW (formerly America’s Junior Miss) has provided life-changing experiences for more than 700,000 young women and awarded more than $92 million in college scholarships.
Famous DYW winners have been newscasters Diane Sawyer and Deborah Norville, and entertainers Kim Basinger, Debra Messing and Kathie Lee Gifford.
DYW, formerly America’s Junior Miss Scholarship Program, is sponsored by the City of Mobile, Mobile County, Eastern Shore Toyota, Encore rehabilitation, SPANX, Mobile Gas-A Sempra Company, Regions Bank, Alabama Power Foundation, and Master Boat Builders.
For more information about DYW, visit www.DistinguishedYW.org.
Organizers Encourage Public to Purchase Tickets Now to Avoid Missing Out
With so many participants in this year's contest, the April 1 event is expected to draw a large audience.
“More than 250 residents and friends attended the sold out program last year, but there are more girls this year, so many residents may be turned away because of limited seating,” Lingad said.
Co-chair Rhonda Burd encourages residents to purchase tickets early because of limited seating.
“Adult and children tickets are $10.00 and children under two years of age are free,” said Burd.
To order tickets to this year's event before they’re sold out, call Cindy Chen at 562-762-6750 or email her at CindyYenChen@yahoo.com.