DYW presents 22 ladies ‘In the Mirror’ Saturday
by Special to the Banner
Mar 02, 2014 | 3047 views | 0 0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Distinguished Young Women
Jada Blackwell
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Twenty-two young ladies from area high schools will vie for the title of Distinguished Young Woman (formerly Junior Miss) of Cleveland Saturday evening at First Baptist Church. The theme of the program is “In The Mirror.”

The program begins at 6 p.m. and tickets for the event are available through Friday at Bradley Central, Cleveland, and Walker Valley high schools, Perry’s Petals and The Orange Blossom Boutique.

All seating is general admission ($15) — doors open at 5:45 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the door the evening of the event.

Bridget Baggett Forester will serve as mistress of ceremonies and David Goodwill will serve as master of ceremonies. Special entertainment will be provided by the current Distinguished Young Woman of Cleveland, Laura Kate Evans, as well as the 2015 escorts and other great performers.

The “Be Your Best Self” program is a national outreach aimed at encouraging self-esteem in young men and women all over the country. The program stresses the importance of being morally responsible and living a healthy and successful life while promoting education and community service. The five elements of BYBS — Be healthy, Be involved, Be studious, Be ambitious and Be responsible — are the heart of the program and help to create bright and successful leaders for the future.

The winner of the local program will advance to the Distinguished Young Women of Tennessee program to be held at Lee University’s Dixon Center in July. The winner of the state program will represent Tennessee in the Distinguished Young Women of America program in Mobile, Ala., in June 2015.

The 22 young ladies competing in the local program are:

— Hannah Elizabeth Thurmond, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the daughter of Joan and Todd Thurmond. She plans to attend Lee University or the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. Her talent will be a vocal and piano performance, “The More I Seek You.”

— Savannah Eloise Stone, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the daughter of Tena and Vince Stone. She plans to attend SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design), Belmont University or Lee University and pursue a career as either an English professor or an art director. Her talent will be an art presentation.

— Marisa Estrada, a student at Bradley Central High School, is the daughter of Tammy and Noe Estrada. She plans to attend Lee University and pursue a career as a pediatrician. Her talent will be a vocal and guitar performance, “Dream a Little Dream.”

— Sarah Abigail Cook, a student at Bradley Central High School, is the daughter of Traclyn and Bryan Cook. She plans to attend Lee University and pursue a career as a geriatric nurse. Her talent will be a lyrical, acro-contortion dance, “The Real Me.”

— Erin Ray Cooper, a student at Cleveland High School, is the daughter of Kimberly and Michael Cooper. She plans to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy. Her talent will be a piano performance, “Where is My Mind?”

— Ana Sofia Rocha, a student at Cleveland High School, is the daughter of Sofia and Javier Rocha. She plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and pursue a career as a veterinarian. Her talent will be a cultural dance performance, “Son de le Negra.”

— Jaida Dionne McKeel, a student at Cleveland High School, is the daughter of Karen and Brandon McKeel. She plans to attend the University of Tennessee and pursue a career as either an intelligence agent for the FBI or as an obstetrician. Her talent will be ballet en pointe, “Black Swan.”

— Mary Lyndley Klepzig, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the daughter of LeAnn and Curtis Klepzig. She plans to attend the University of Mississippi and pursue a career as a teacher, principal, or lawyer. Her talent will be a vocal and piano presentation, “Digno y Santo.”

— Laurel Marie McGaha, a student at Cleveland High School. She is the daughter of Kimmy and Jerry McGaha. She plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she plans to study art education. Her talent will be a ballet en pointe, “I See the Light.”

— Taylor Storm Moore, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the daughter of Trisha Akins. She plans to attend East Tennessee State University and pursue a career as a pharmacist. Her talent will be a flag routine, “Firework.”

— Meridieth Leigh Cook, a student at Cleveland High School, is the daughter of Tonya and Phillip Cook Jr. She plans to attend Lee University and pursue a career in communications or education. Her talent will be a vocal performance, “At Last.”

— Anna Margaret Betts, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the daughter of LaGenna and Dr. Dennis Betts. She plans to attend Lee University and pursue a career in psychology, journalism, or music. Her talent will be a marimba performance, “Musser Etude in C Major.”

— Sarah Elizabeth Locke, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the daughter of Melissa Locke-Kaylor and Randall Locke. She plans to attend Vanderbilt University and pursue a career as a lawyer. Her talent will be a lyrical dance, “May It Be.”

— Marah Ashlynn Whitaker, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the daughter of Michelle and J. Whitaker. She plans to attend the University of Tennessee or Lee University and major in piano performance and business. Her talent will be a piano performance, “Romance.”

— Ashlyn Louise Tillotson, a student at Cleveland High School, is the daughter of Jodi and Rodney Tillotson. She plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga or the UT-Knoxville and pursue a career as a neonatal nurse. Her talent will be a modern dance performance, “Shake.”

— Mary Martha Maddox, a student at Cleveland High School, is the daughter of Martha and Notley Maddox. She plans to attend Lee University or Tennessee Wesleyan and pursue a career as a financial adviser. Her talent will be a piano performance, “Rondo Alla Turca.”

— Abby Payton Brown, a student at Cleveland High School, is the daughter of Melissa and Jerry Brown. She plans to attend Lee University and pursue a career in nursing. Her talent will be a dance performance, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

— Reily Nicole Kennedy, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the daughter of Sherri and James Kennedy. She is undecided as to which college she will be attending but plans to pursue a career in marketing or broadcast journalism. Her talent will be a vocal performance, “Walkin’ After Midnight.”

— Stella Brooks Buckner, a student at Baylor High School, is the daughter of Chari and Ralph Buckner. She plans to attend Clemson, Furman, or the College of Charleston and major in business, photography, or theater. Her talent will be a tap dance performance, “Hot Honey Rag.”

— Jada Cheyenne Blackwell, a student at Cleveland High School, is the daughter of Tammy and Brian Blackwell. She plans to attend Vanderbilt University or Auburn University and pursue a career in accounting. Her talent will be a cheer-tumble routine.

— Mallory Lynne Wickam, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the daughter of Loretta and Charles Wickam. She plans to attend Lee University and study history, English and law. Her talent will be an alto saxophone performance, “Let It Go.”

— Emily Michelle Hicks, a student at Cleveland High School, is the daughter of Carolyn and Russell Hicks. She plans to attend the University of Tennessee, East Tennessee State University, South University or UT-Chattanooga and pursue a career as a physician’s assistant or a reconstructive surgeon. Her talent will be a lyrical dance performance: “Explosions.”

The 14 escorts in the program are:

— Jacob Ball, a student at Bradley Central High School, is the son of Terry Esquinance.

— Graham Brooks, a student at Bradley Central, is the son of Joe and Lisa Brooks.

— Jake Broome, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the son of Jerome and Linda Broome.

— Mason Brown, a student at Cleveland High School, is the son of Tommy and Sarah Brown.

— Reed Calfee, a student at Cleveland High School, is the son of Greg and Lori Calfee.

— Conner Clabough, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the son of Jeff and Cindy Clabough.

— Conner Gerry, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the son of Sterling and Kendra Collins.

— Jake Gibson, a student at Cleveland High School, is the son of Jim and Mary Beth Gibson.

— Morgan Goodman, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the son of Greg and Kendra Goodman.

— Ira Lee, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the son of Vernon and Maggie Lee

— Michael Palmer, a student at Cleveland High School, is the son of Wendy Godwin.

— Joshua Riley, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the son of Craig and Becky Riley.

— Noah Robinson, a student at Walker Valley High School, is the son of Jason and Faith Robinson.

— Jamie Satterfield, a student at Cleveland High School, is the son of Mike and Tonia Satterfield.

The local program is sponsored by a committee of local men and women volunteers who want to ensure the continued success of the program. Scholarships totaling $7,000 will be awarded to local girls Saturday night. Almost $2.5 million in cash scholarships were awarded by the programs last year to young women across the nation. More than 700,000 young women have participated in the program at the local, state, and national levels.

DYW is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States and has had more than 300 national finalists attend nationally acclaimed colleges and universities offering college-granted scholarships to participants. Some 17,000 volunteers contribute their time and money to programs across the nation.