Junior Katelyn Kaplan wins DYW of Starkville


Colin Kennedy

Distinguished Young Woman of Starkville 2022, Emmy Moyen, names Junior Katelyn Kaplan DYW of Starkville 2023.

Wendy Campbell, Staff Writer

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The class of 2023 Distinguished Young Woman competition was held February 5 at MSU in McComas Hall. Starkville High student Katelyn Kaplan competed, along with four other contestants from various Starkville schools, for the DYW title. 

Scoring for contestants began in the afternoon with various interviews evaluating their critical thinking, complexity of ideas, speaking abilities and academic/community accomplishments. The stage portion of the competition began with a formal introduction, then progressed to a talent portion, self-expression portion and a fitness portion.  

Kaplan was previously a “little” for last year’s competition, which prompted her to participate in the class of 2023 competition. Kaplan performed a dance to Luke Hemmings’ “Slip Away” for the talent portion. 

“We had five weeks of weekend practices where we learned choreography, did mock interviews and practiced our talents. This program has helped me feel more confident in my own skin and taught me how to trust and believe in myself,” Kaplan said. 

Kaplan won the scholastic award, as well as the title of DYW of Starkville. Kaplan will go on to compete on the state level in July for the title of DYW of Mississippi in Meridian.  

“I’m excited for the state competition in July, I know it’s going to be a little intimidating for me, but I hope to enjoy the time I spend there and the people that I’ll get to meet.”