January Carroll County Community Spotlight: Distinguished Young Women

26 December 2018 Non-Profit Spotlight

Distinguished Young Women is a 60 year-old national scholarship program that has awarded over $130 million in cash scholarships to outstanding, college-bound young women across the country.

Colleges and universities throughout the United States offer college-granted scholarships to eligible program participants and state winners. These scholarship opportunities include four-year, full tuition scholarships as well as many partial scholarships. Locally, McDaniel College, Hood College and Stevenson University offer 4-year full and partial scholarships to the Maryland representative. Additionally, cash scholarship awards to be used at colleges of their choice are awarded to the overall winners, as well as winners of individual categories, at the local competition. See website for list of participating colleges www.distinguishedyw.org

Only high school girls graduating in 2020 may participate, and there is no entry fee. Participants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. There is no swimsuit category and this is not a beauty pageant!

Applicants will compete in five categories: * Scholastics *Interview *Talent *Self-Expression *Fitness

Carroll County’s competition will take place February 23, 2019 at Francis Scott Key High School. The deadline for applications to be completed online is January 15, 2019. Interested girls should visit www.distinguishedyw.org and click “Participate” on the homepage to apply. She will then be contacted by a local representative who will answer questions about the upcoming program. Orientation will be January 23, 2019 at the Carroll Nonprofit Center, 255 Clifton Blvd from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. All participants will gain important life skills through participation.

The Carroll County winner will advance to Maryland’s state program held in Frederick, Maryland, July TBD 2019 where she will be eligible for even more cash and college scholarships. All state winners will travel to Mobile, Alabama, to participate in personal development activities and community service projects before competing for the opportunity to become the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2020, and for a share of more than $125,000 in cash scholarships. The mission of Distinguished Young Women is to positively impact the lives of young women by providing a transformative experience that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership and talent. National sponsors include Mobile County, City of Mobile, Wintzell’s Oyster House, Encore Rehabilitation, Alabama Power Foundation, Master Boat Builders, The Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, Regions Financial Corporation, Evonik, and The Alabama Media Group. Local sponsors include The Kahlert Foundation and Community Foundation of Carroll County.


Distinguished Young Women is not just a generous scholarship program. It has served as a platform for many bright and talented girls to grow into successful women making great accomplishments, many of whom continue to support the program long after they participate. Formerly called America’s Junior Miss, Distinguished Young Women changed its name in 2010 to differentiate itself from “beauty pageants.” Past participants include journalist Diane Sawyer, IBM executive and computer scientist Linda Rutledge Delbridge, and actresses Mary Frann, Debra Messing and Kim Basinger. Carroll County has 2 Distinguished Young Women representatives, Elena Rippeon who is the class of 2018 state representative from Francis Scott Key High School and now attends Duke University where she intends to study biomedical engineering and electrical engineering and Brooke Nixon, first runner up at the state program, who attended Mary-Vale Preparatory School and is now studying at Christopher Newport University.

  • Make new friends from around your area
  • Participate in workshops on interviewing, public speaking and more
  • Have fun putting on a showcase of your achievements
  • PLUS help pay for your college education!

You must be a junior in high school to participate. Sign up today so you don’t miss out!


This is a life-changing opportunity for young women in Carroll County! For more information about Distinguished Young Women of Carroll County, contact Dara J Schraft, CC Chair @ 443-821-3825/ carroll@distinguishedyw.org

or Nicole Orr State chairperson at frederick@distinguishedyw.org.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube: www.facebook.com/distinguishedyw; www.twitter.com/distinguishedyw; www.youtube.com/user/distinguishedyw