by Sara Thurgood, Anna Shirley, and Foster Jensen
Every year at MHS, sign-ups begin for Distinguished Young Women, a national scholarship program that encourages junior girls to participate and earn scholarship money for college.
This year, there are 25 girls participating and it’s already turning out to be a good year. Many girls believe that participating in DYW will help benefit their relationships and further improve themselves.
“[I want] to be able to come out of my shell more,” Junior Lauren Ollerton says.
Ollerton’s friends had previously encouraged her to take part in DYW for the scholarship money but also for the personal advantages it most likely will bring. Ollerton will be playing the violin for her talent and is excited to see how the program turns out.
For some girls, because of the example set by their older sisters, they began to see the benefits of participating before they even signed up for the program. Junior Olivia Marshall is a participant this year, and she expected a lot of the same things as the other girls do. She’s looking forward to learning how to make friends and learn how to walk in heels.
When asked about getting to work with her older sister, Senior Abby Marshall, who was the winner of several awards last year and the 1st runner up, Olivia Marshall said, “Abby is a huge help because she did it and did very well. She helped me go over questions or tell me to smile more.”
A lot of time and preparation goes into getting ready for the DYW program here at Madison. Gates Williams, who was selected to represent Madison at the state program this last October, had a few things to say about the program here at Madison and across the state and all it entails.
“The hardest part of preparing for the program was the early morning and Saturday practices, and getting ready for it on your own. I have 14 new friends that I get to see all the time.”
Williams has already started working with the girls and is really enjoying it. One thing she learned when she was a contestant was that the more they try new things, the more they could expect from themselves.
“Because you’re doing things that you’ve never done before that doesn’t mean that you have to change who you are,” Williams said.
Distinguished Young Women is a program that allows girls who are beginning to enter into the real world, and it gives them an opportunity to learn life skills, earn scholarship money and make lasting friendships. This year, the program will take place on February 4, 2017, in the Madison Performing Arts Center. The tickets are available now at the Circle of Love. The DYW girls will also be selling the tickets during lunch a couple of weeks prior to the program. Come and support your friends and family in something that these girls have put a lot of time and effort into.