FIRTH – Shannon Christensen was named the Distinguished Young Woman (DYW) of the Firth/Shelley area Saturday night in the Firth High School auditorium.
Ashley Carpenter was named First Alternate. Jessica Mecham will serve as Second Alternate.
Christensen not only became the DYW but also was recognized as the person who best exemplified the “Spirit of Distinguished Young Women.” This award is voted on by the participants themselves.
DYW is a scholarship program. Christensen was awarded these scholarships:
· $1,000 scholarship for becoming the DYW,
· $100 for the Spirit of DYW,
· $150 for fitness,
· $200 for talent and
· $250 for interview.
Carpenter received scholarships for Firth Alternate ($500), fitness ($150), self- expression ($150 and talent ($200).
Mecham received scholarships for Second Alternate (($300) and scholastic ($200).
Maryssa McLeish won scholarships for Be Your Best Self ($100) and scholastic ($200).
Brittney Gallant won scholarships for self-expression ($150) and interview ($250).
The nine young ladies demonstrated poise and grace under fire as the sound system used during much of the competition was spotty at best.
At one point, the music piped into the auditorium quit altogether as the first group of participants was presenting the self-expression part of the competition. The young ladies carried on without missing a beat.
Audience members helped out by singing the piece as the young ladies continued performing.
“The girls were really encouraged that the audience was so supportive,” said Program Co-Chair Betty Ann Bitter.
The sound system issue was settled when Firth patron Angela Carlson brought her sound system into the auditorium.
The talent portion of the competition was delightful.
During self-expression, each participant was asked, “In your opinion, what makes something beautiful?”
“Beauty is something that makes you stop in your tracks to look and brings about emotion, sight, smell and/or memory,” said Brittney Gallant.
“Beauty is being with my family,” said Rachel Schiess. “My family and I hunt for geos that are rocks with crystals in them. You need to know what you are looking for.
“Beauty is like a geo, you need to look within,” she said.
“All the girls working together, with all the ups and downs, make a beautiful pageant,” said Kayla Jensen.
“Sunset time or accomplishing a hard job,” said Shannon Christensen. “I truly love being happy with life.”
“Natural simplicity, like seeing the mountains near our cabin; to me, that is beautiful,” said Tailor Carpenter.
“The simplicity of things and the happiness they bring is beautiful,” said Jessica Mecham.
“Once my mom and I returned home to find my 3-year-old brother covered in flour,” said Ashley Carpenter. “It was a mess. Everything was covered in flour—the floor, the counter and my brother.
“He was so happy; I thought, ‘now that’s beautiful,’” she said.
“It inspires everything around it to become beautiful,” said Maryssa McLeish.
“I met a girl with a physical impairment,” said Miranda Hatton. “[As I came to know her,] to me, she was beautiful.”
As the poet e.e. cummings wrote, “it takes courage to become who we really are.”
These young ladies displayed courage, poise and grace. It was a fun evening.