2021 Distinguished Young Women participants to prepare for the program

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Ashley Maples

DYW of Starkville 2021, Makenzie Stone, speaks to younger students about the program.

Katelyn Kaplan

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Distinguished Young Woman staff and participants prepare for the upcoming program that will take place in February. 

Makenzie Stone, DYW of 2021, said there will be more safety guidelines implemented due to Covid-19 regulations. 

Our class of 2022 program and recruiting looks a bit different this year as well,Stone said. “It’s been difficult to find ways for the next group of participants to still bond and have the same opportunities that my class did, but it has sparked creativity in myself as well as our program staff.” 

Lily Schauwecker, a junior at SHS, will be participating in the program this year and said that there are benefits to young women participating in the program. 

Schauwecker said self-confidence is a skill most women will gain from the program, and DYW allows the participants to “continually be yourself. 

Stone participated in the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi program that was held in Meridian last summer and placed first runner up. She said that the program gave her valuable skills and friendships. 

“Aside from the vast sisterhood I have had the pleasure of becoming friends with [fellow DYW and Junior Miss participants], the skills I have learned from DYW are more valuable than any scholarship could amount to,” Stone said. “The public speaking and interviewing skills I have gained have transferred into so many aspects of my life such as interviewing for scholarships, presenting for classes, and recruiting women to join DYW.” 

Schauwecker is participating in the program to “expand opportunities for scholarship and public speaking,” and to gain skills that could help her when she graduates high school. 

“The mock interview will likely benefit me most because interviews are a crucial part of navigating the work experience,” Schauwecker said. 

The Distinguished Young Women program of 2021 will take place February 6, 7 p.m. The location of the program is to be determined at a later date.