Young women will vie for scholarships

The Distinguished Young Women Scholarship Program chairwoman Christine Yocum recently announced the 14 participants for the 2013-14 program. Co-chairing this year’s program are Danielle Bongiovanni and Kaycee Currie.

Formerly known as the Lakewood Area Junior Miss Scholarship Program, this year marks the 48th program in the Jamestown area since its establishment in 1958 in Mobile, Ala. The 14 participants were chosen carefully, based on academic achievement, community and school activities, and a personal interview.

Representing seven local high schools, this year’s participants are: Shelby Adams, Jenni D’Angelo, Haley Jones, Kellie Rodriquez, Laurie Scarpino, and Haley Jones, all from Jamestown High School; Erin Domagola and Francesca Galbato from Southwestern High School; Corrine Cardinale from Maple Grove High School; Mackenzie Rodgers and Rebecca Young from Falconer High School; Alyssa Merrill from Cassadaga Valley High School and Eliz Arnauut and Jessie Mekus from Fredonia High School.

This year’s show producer, Maura Morganti, is working with choreographers Tiffany Wakeley Heintzman and Jennifer Sears on various elements of the program including the opening, fitness, self-expression and talent sections. “Born This Way” is the theme of this year’s program, and the participants began rehearsing in July. The program will be held at the Jamestown High School Auditorium on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

The participants will compete for college scholarships, and the winner of the local program will continue to the state level competition in the spring. In addition to cash scholarships, participants are eligible for college-granted scholarships from nearly 200 colleges and universities from the Distinguished Young Women’s National Program.

Each participant is also paired with an area third- or fourth-grade “little sister” whom they mentor throughout their experience in the program. The Little Sisters, chaired by Rosa Farrell, will perform in the program, fundraise for the scholarship funds, help with community service and participate in fun activities with the program participants. The committee appreciates the community support through scholarship donations, booklet advertising and show attendance.