The Miami County Distinguished Young Women scholarship program is one of the recent recipients of an Operation Round Up grant. The program, formally known as the Junior Miss program, just completed its 49th year in Miami County. The oldest and largest scholarship program for high school girls, it provided almost $1.5 billion to program participants at local, state and national levels last year. These outstanding participants demonstrate excellence in all areas of their lives.
The Miami County program is open to senior girls who attend any of the Miami County school corporations, as well as girls who are home schooled in those districts. The amount of the scholarships available each year depends upon the amount of money raised. This year’s local program was held on Nov. 18 at the Peru High School. The state program will be held next month in Kokomo and the national level will be held in Mobile, Alabama, in June.
The judging standards and selection criteria are the same at all levels of the program and include scholastics, interview, talent, fitness and self-expression.
Four girls participated in this year’s program in Miami County, all from Peru High School. In addition to the overall cash scholarship award ($1,500), the following awards were also given: people’s choice ($50), spirit ($100), self-expression ($100), talent ($100), fitness ($100), interview ($100), scholastic ($100) and first runner up ($500).
Marjon Rafie was this year’s winner of the overall scholarship and will represent Miami County at the state competition. She was also the winner of the self-expression, talent, interview and scholastic awards. She plans to attend Indiana University with a career goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist.
For more information about how to participate in the program or how to help sponsor this scholarship in Miami County, you can contact program chairman Ruth Caldwell at Miami@distinguishedym.org or visit miami.in.distinguishedyw.org/.