Ten high school girls representing East Lauderdale and West Lauderdale counties are set to vie for titles that could lead them to state, even national competitions.

The 2021 Distinguished Young Women of East Lauderdale County and West Lauderdale County programs will be held Saturday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. at the MSU Riley Center in downtown Meridian. An overall winner will be selected for each program and the honorees will be presented their Distinguished Young Women medallions by the 2020 titleholders: Jodee Crane, DYW of East Lauderdale, daughter of Charles and Kaycee Crane, and Demia Bland, DYW of West Lauderdale, daughter of Meridian Mayor Percy and Deidre Bland.

The Distinguished Young Women program attracts outstanding participants who demonstrate excellence in all areas of their lives. At all levels (local, state and national) the judging standards and basis of selection are the same and are devised to evaluate the qualities and characteristics in which the program believes every young woman should strive to possess. More than $21,000 n scholarships will be presented at the East Lauderdale County and West Lauderdale County programs.

Areas of competition include:

• Scholastics, 25 percent: Judged by a separate individual with a background in academics and scholastic evaluation who considers each participant's grade point average, standardized test scores and curriculum.

• Interview, 25 percent: In a 10-minute interview and discussion session, the judges' panel considers: clarity of expression, mental alertness, perception, sense of values, human relations, educated responses, knowledge of current issues and events and personality.

• Talent, 20 percent: Each participant is allowed 90 seconds for her talent presentation. Judges consider: technical ability, originality, appropriateness of selection, costume and stage presence.

• Fitness, 15 percent: Participants are evaluated in overall conditioning during a choreographed fitness routine. Judges consider: agility, coordination, strength and stamina.

• Self Expression, 15 percent: Participants are evaluated in grace, demeanor, self-confidence and communication skills. Judges consider: poise, carriage, posture, composure, and communication ability.

Candidate bios for the East Lauderdale County DYW and West Lauderdale County DYW programs follow:

East Lauderdale County Program

Cooper

Cooper

Hannah Leigh Cooper

School: Russell Christian Academy

Activities/Achievements: Activities — Chess Team • Art • Violin • Treasurer Student Government Association • Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Foundation • Leadership Lauderdale • Expedition 41-University of Alabama • Scholars Bowl • Volunteering Care Lodge • Aldersgate • Newsroom-Russell-RCA. Achievements — Most Courteous • History Award • Voice of Democracy Essay • Academic Excellence • Treasurer of SGA • Selected for Archaeology Prospection in Marksville, Louisiana • Beta Club • District Art Show winner • Science Fair, first place • Art awards

Career Goal: Archaeology College Preference: University of South Alabama

Talent: Not specified

Parent: Elizabeth Cooper

Godwin

Godwin

Chloe Sue Godwin

School: Northeast Lauderdale High School

Activities/Achievements: Activities — Dusty Social Service Club • Science Club, sergeant-at-arms • Yearbook • Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Achievements — Miniature Miss for Cinderella • First Overall in Solo at Masquerade Dance Competition

Career Goal: Athletic Trainer College Preference: University of Mississippi

Talent: Dance

Parents: Mark and Kelley Davis

Goines

Goines

Tamara Seymone Goines

School: Northeast Lauderdale High School

Activities/Achievements: Activities — Cheerleading • Zeta Phi Beta Youth Group (secretary) • The Dusty Club • Leadership Lauderdale • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) • Fellow Christian Athletes (FCA). Achievements — Fifth place at local FBLA competition • Miss Blue Revue • Top Trojan Award • First place All-Around at Mardi Gras Gymnastics Meet

Career Goal: Neonatal Nurse College Preference: University of Alabama Birmingham

Talent: Dance

Parents: Bobby Terrell Goines and Lakisha Goines

Ott

Ott

Jalyssiah Chanel Ott

School: Lamar School

Activities/Achievements: Activities — Dance • Cheer. Achievements — Honors Spanish Society Award

Career Goal: Social Work College Preference: Mississippi State University

Talent: Lyrical Dance

Parent: Lashonda Nicole Boddie

West Lauderdale County Program

Denton

Denton

Sophie Rhiannon Denton

School: Russell Christian Academy

Activities/Achievements: Activities — RCA Varsity Scholar's Bowl Team Member • Varsity and Junior Varsity Cheer, 6 years • Captain Varsity Cheer, 1 year • EMC All-Star Competition Cheer, 2 years • Dusty Social Service Club, 3 years • Russell Baptist Church Youth Group, 3 years • Authentically Aligned Online Model • Competitive dance, 7 years • Dance, 13 years • EMC Tumbling, 2 years. Achievements — National Honor Society • National Senior Beta Club • Student Government Association Secretary (First at RCA) • Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Ambassador • Headmaster's List, 10th Grade • Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders (FCC) All-American Cheerleader, 1 year • FCC Cheer Camp Outstanding Tumbler, 1 year • Christian Cheerleaders of America (CCA_ Outstanding Cheerleader and Tumbler, 2 years • Most Humorous, 2 years • RCA Most Outstanding Tumbler, 5 years

Career Goal: Psychologist

College Preference: University of Southern Mississippi

Talent: Lyrical Dance

Parents: Jeffrey and Niki Denton

graham

Graham

Zoie Rene Graham

School: Clarkdale High School

Activities/Achievements: Activities — High School Band • New Hope Youth Band • CHS Leads • Leadership Lauderdale • Spanish Club • Spanish Honor Society • National Honor Society • New Hope Youth Group/Church Member • AP Physics Camp. Achievements — Superintendent’s List • UPDAWGS • Bandsman Award • First Chair Alto Saxophone • Most Studious • AP Physics Camp Completion • Writing Award

Career Goal: Pharmacist College Preference: University of Mississippi

Talent: Playing Alto Saxophone

Parent: Shannon Graham

Hannington

Hannington

Hannah Grace Hannington

School: Lamar School

Activities/Achievements: Activities — Beta Club - Vice President • Student Council - Junior Vice President • Lamar Cheerleader (7-11) • Lamar Cross Country (6-11) • Jane Austen Book Club • Fellowship of Christian Athletes • Dusty Social Service Club - Junior Representative • 1/2 Marathon Runner • Central United Methodist Youth Group • CMA Dance Assistant. Achievements —Highest Honors & Honor Roll • Mu Alpha Theta • National Honor Society • National Spanish Honor Society • Highest Average - Spanish II, Algebra II, MS History • Junior Class President • Cross Country Raider Award (2015-2019) • Cross Country State Champion (2015, 2016) • Best All-Around Cheerleader (2019) • All American Cheerleader (2016-2019)

Career Goal: Pre-pharmacy

College Preference: University of Mississippi

Talent: Acro/Jazz Dance

Parents: Shawn and Meliza Hannington

Irby

Irby

Lana Leigh Irby

School: Lamar School

Activities/Achievements: Activities — Varsity Cheerleader • Lamar Girls Golf Team • Dusty Social Service Club • Dusty Membership Co-chairman • Student Council Representative • Beta Club • Distinguished Young Women Little Sister 2020. Achievements — National Honor Society • National Spanish Honor Society • Principal's List • Athletic Academic Honor Roll • Sophomore Class Favorite • Junior Homecoming Maid • Dusty Pledge Class Queen Bee 2018 • MAIS State Champion Cheer Team • Northwood Country Club Girl's Golf Jr. Club Champion 2018

Career Goal: Business Administration

College Preference: Mississippi State University

Talent: Acro/Jazz Dance

Parents: Leland and Glynese Irby

Prewitt

Prewitt

Caroline Wheeler Prewitt

School: Lamar School

Activities/Achievements: Activities — National Spanish Honor Society - Secretary • Lamar Quiz Bowl- Captain • Lamar Cross Country Team • Lamar Dance Team • Stage 2 Theatre Company - Junior Representative • Lamar Theatre Program • Jane Austen Book Club • Yearbook Staff/ Journalism • Dusty Social Service Club • Central UMC Youth Group/ Praise Band. Achievements — Head of School List (All A Honor Roll - 11 years) • Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Foundation Ambassador • Mu Alpha Theta • Highest Average: Spanish I and Literature • Most Improved Cross Country • MAIS State Cross Country Runner Ups (2017 and 2018) • Raiderettes Dance Team Raider Award • MAIS State Dance Championship Runner Up (2018) • deCycles Most Improved Rookie • Stage 2 Theatre: Lead Role - Peter and the Starcatcher

Career Goal: Working with an international non-profit

College Preference: Washington University in St. Louis

Talent: Vocal

Parents: Kendrick and Lindsey Prewitt

Shirley

Shirley

Sarah Paige Shirley

School: Lamar School

Activities/Achievements: Activities — National Honor Society • Mu Alpha Theta • National Spanish Honor Society • Student Council • Junior State of America • Beta Club • Varsity Volleyball • Varsity Dance Team • Varsity Cross Country • Dusty Social Service Club. Achievements — Trent Lott Leadership Institute • National Youth Leadership Forum-Medicine • Mississippi Governor's School • Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Program (HOBY) • Academic Honor Roll • Athletic Honor Roll • State Cross Country Champions - 2016 & 2017 • Youth Delegate for MS Episcopal Church's Annual Council • Division of Youth Council Leader for MS Episcopal Church • Vice President & President - Dusty Social Service Club

Career Goal: Oncology College Preference: University of Mississippi

Talent: Violin

Parents: Dr. Harvey and Hayley Shirley

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