Distinguished Young Women of Lee County to host inaugural program

Jan. 27—TUPELO — Five young women will compete for $4,500 in scholarships during this weekend's inaugural Distinguished Young Women of Lee County program.

Set for Saturday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. at the Link Centre in Tupelo, the local program is an extension of the national scholarship program for 11th grade girls. Last year, Distinguished Young Women's (DYW) national organization provided over $1 billion in cash and in-kind college scholarships.

Tickets for Saturday's event are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

Established in 1958, Distinguished Young Women, formerly known as Junior Miss, promotes scholarship, leadership and talent. The organization's motto is "Be Your Best Self."

This weekend's inaugural program for Lee County will feature five young women from around the Tupelo area. Over $4,500 in cash college scholarship money will be awarded.

The class of 2023 includes Hannah Texada, a junior at Mooreville High School; Kina Venson, a junior at Tupelo High School; Lauren Tate, a junior at Tupelo Christian Preparatory School; Thais Higa Ito, a junior at Tupelo High School and Avery Prust, a junior at Tupelo High School.

Each participant will complete a 10-minute interview with a panel of six judges prior to the program.

Once showtime arrives Saturday evening, the girls will compete in fitness, talent and self-expression portions of competition.

The young womens' scholastic performances will also be evaluated separately to contribute to their overall score.

Talents will include piano and cello performances in addition to vocal presentations.

For more information about Distinguished Young Women of Lee County, visit lee.ms.distinguishedyw.org.

BROOKE BULLOCK BURLESON is a digital producer for the Daily Journal. Contact her at brooke.burleson@djournal.com.