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Women Earn Scholarships in DYW Competition

Posted by Steve Rogers | July 24, 2012 / 07:10am | Local News, Faith & Family, Education
MERIDIAN, Miss. -- The Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi program 2013, formerly Mississippi's Junior Miss, came to a close Saturday with the naming of MacKenzie Ross, who represented Lauderdale County, as Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi 2013. Ross also received the John Houston Phillips Overall Self-Expression Award and talent and scholastic preliminary awards.

In addition to the title, Pitts will receive a total of $13,500 in college scholarship money from the Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi Scholarship Foundation, Meridian Coca-Cola and the John Houston Phillips Family.

Ross played Moonlight Sonata--3. Presto Agitato on the piano for her talent.

Next June, Ross will represent Mississippi in the national Distinguished Young Women program in Mobile, Ala.

Another winner tonight was the first alternate to the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi 2013, Olivia Day, representing West Jackson County. Day also received the Bo Russell Overall Scholastic Award & a self-expression preliminary award. Day will receive a total of $7,200 in college scholarship money from the Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi Scholarship Foundation, Meridian Coca-Cola & the Bo Russell Family.

For her talent, Day played the guitar and sang Black Horse and a Cherry Tree.

Rachel Varela, representing Meridian, was named second alternate to the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi 2013. Varela also received a fitness preliminary award. She will receive a total of $3,150 in college scholarship money from the Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi Scholarship Foundation & Meridian Coca-Cola.

Varela sang On My Own for her talent.

Third alternate to the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi 2013 is Sara Beth Gross, representing Leake County. Gross also received a self-expression preliminary award. She will receive a total of $3,150 in college scholarship money from the Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi Scholarship Foundation and Meridian Coca-Cola.

Gross played Solfeggietto on the piano for her talent.

The other finalists in this year's program were Dorothy Whitlock, representing Pontotoc County, Tearsa Brown, representing East Jackson County, Gabrielle Munn, representing Forrest County, Madison Kolbo, representing Petal, Holly Travis, representing Starkville, and Haley Thornton, representing Madison County. These finalists received a $1,000 cash scholarship from the Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi Scholarship Foundation.

Preliminary and overall category awards were given out Friday & Saturday nights.

The Bo Russell Overall Scholastic Award winner was First Alternate Olivia Day, who represented West Jackson County, who will receive a $1,500 cash scholarship for this award.

Other scholastic preliminary award winners were MacKenzie Ross, Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi 2013, Gabrielle Munn, representing Forrest County, Mollie Maples, representing George County, and Emily Humphrey, representing Covington County.

These winners will receive a $500 cash scholarship from the Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi Scholarship Foundation for this award.
The Brainstorm Creative Group Overall Talent Award winner was Tearsa Brown, representing East Jackson County, who will receive $1,500 in college scholarship money for this award.

Other talent preliminary award winners were Gabrielle Munn, representing Forrest County, MacKenzie Ross, Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi 2013, Haley Thornton, representing Madison County, and Jessica Brewer, representing Simpson County.

These winners will receive a $500 cash scholarship from Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi Scholarship Foundation for this award.

The Medical Store Overall Fitness Award winner was Anna Whitney, representing Neshoba County, who will receive a $1,500 cash scholarship for this award.

Other fitness preliminary award winners were Alison Cooper, representing Choctaw County, Rachel Varela, representing Meridian, Natalie Edwards, representing Pike County, and Mica Elmore, representing Greene County.

These winners will receive a $500 cash scholarship from Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi Scholarship Foundation for this award.

The John Houston Phillips Overall Self-Expression Award winner was MacKenzie Ross, Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi 2013, who will receive a $1,500 cash scholarship for this award.

Other self-expression preliminary award winners were Sara Beth Gross, representing Leake County, Holly Travis, representing Starkville, Olivia Day, representing West Jackson County, and Ashley Luethje, representing Marion County.
These winners will receive a $500 cash scholarship from Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi Scholarship Foundation for this award.

The Beth Finch Spirit Award, which is voted on by the contestants, went to Madison Wheat, representing Rankin County, who will receive a $1,500 cash scholarship for this award.

The Ann & Jimmy Alexander "Be Your Best Self" Essay Award winner was Emily Humphrey, representing Covington County, who will receive a $1,500 cash scholarship for this award.

All told, the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi program gave out $44,500 in college scholarships to this year's class.

Distinguished Young Women is a scholarship program that inspires high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments.  National sponsors include the City of Mobile, Mobile County, Encore Rehabilitation, Spanx, Wintzell's Oyster House, Mobile Gas, Alabama Power Foundation, Master Boat Builders, Inc. and Regions Financial Corporation.

For more information about the Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi program, please visit our website, www.msjrmiss.com.
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