By Karri Keller
Twenty young women competed on Saturday, March 9, 2013 for the honor of being the Kuna representative in the Distinguished Young Woman Scholarship competition. While multiple scholarships were awarded to the competitors, Taylor Ramos won top honors and will continue on to compete for the state title next October.
Unlike traditional beauty contests, the Distinguished Young Woman Scholarship program is “a national scholarship program that inspires high school girls to develop their full, individual potential by encouraging continued education, developing self-confidence, showcasing performance skills and inspire lives of others,” according to the program’s brochure.
“It encourages young girls to achieve in five areas of the Be Your Best Self Program: Be studious, Be Ambitious, Be healthy, Be involved and Be Responsible.”
After weeks of rehearsals, five judges scored the 20 young women in the categories of interview, fitness, talent and self-expression. The event Saturday was opened by Melba Mayor Doug Sturgess and hosted by co-master of ceremonies Deb Bradburn and Lee Leslie.
Last held two years ago in Kuna, the previous Kuna representative Malary Troutman was also in attendance.
“This program was supposed to happen annually, but no one was willing to direct it last year so it didn’t happen. Now with the help of official chairmen, it will be an annual event” Said Dana Peterson DYW Chairman.
The young women who participated felt that it was a good experience.
“It’s good to gain new skills and come out of your shell and to be exposed to more girls,” said participant Michaelia Mills.
“It gave me more experience and more opportunities being with other girls and brought out a new self-confidence,” said Gabby Callis.
During the rehearsal process Taylor Ramos said that this program brought her a new confidence level and that she had made a lot of new friends.
Her mother, Susan Ramos said, “This scholarship program truly showed her personality and her strength as a young woman. Lots of responsibilities and great attitude are due because of what she has learned by getting involved in DYW.”
Taylor Marie Ramos plans on attending the University of Texas at Austin studying Anesthesiology. In high school Taylor’s activities include Science Club, National Honor Society, competition dance team, high school dance team, Young Women’s-LDS church, and HOSA club.