Annual program spotlights young women in Dallas CountyPublished 10:50pm Saturday, August 17, 2013
More than $10,000 in scholarship money was given out Saturday night as the 2014 Distinguished Young Women program was held at the Pickard Auditorium. And although all 18 participants sparkled and shined on stage, it was Marissa Moore who captured the judges’ admiration as she received the title of 2013 Distinguished Young Woman of Dallas County along with $3,000 in scholarship money.
“It feels unreal, I didn’t expect this at all,” said Moore, who is a senior at Selma High School. “I’ve been preparing for this for a long time — I’m just excited.”
Moore is the daughter of Pricie Johnson and Genevieve Moore. She plans to attend Alabama A&M University and study food science.
Claiming the title of first alternate and receiving $2,000 in scholarship money was Challen Spradley, who attends Dallas County High School. Ashley Friday, a senior at Morgan Academy, was named second alternate and received $1,500 in scholarship money.
Demisha Stough, director of the program, said it was great to see all 18 participants grow throughout the process and learn more about one another.
“These girls don’t have a lot of diversity in their everyday lives, and they come from all different schools and the way that they learned to love and respect each other is amazing — that’s what we love the most about it,” Stough said. “Some schools don’t offer as many scholarships as others, so it’s great to have the public and private schools capitalize off the community’s generosity.”
As the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls, Stough said it’s important that the community continue to support Distinguished Young Women, as it cultivates strong and confident leaders.
Several other $300 scholarships were given to participants who excelled in categories of fitness, self-expression, scholastic, talent, interview and spirit.
Ellis and Moore were awarded scholarships for their fitness, Ellis and Moore were recognized for self-expression, Fancher and Anna Kate Mock-Jordan received scholarships in the scholastic category, Ellis and Friday were recognized for the talent portion, Moore and Liz Brown received money for the interview section and Brown was recognized for her overall spirit during the program.