SHELLEY — Young women throughout the area have the chance to become their best selves and earn money for college.
The Distinguished Young Women program is gearing up for 2021, with last year’s Firth/Shelley Distinguished Young Woman Kassidy Payne working hard to get more girls involved.
“I knew that when it came time to pass my title down to the next class that I wanted as many to participate as possible,” Payne told Community Pioneer. “I really think that this program offers so much for young women. And that everyone, no matter where you come from, who you are or what you stand for, that it can impact your life.”
Firth/Shelley Distinguished Young Women chairman Rachael Daniels said that unlike traditional beauty pageants Distinguished Young Women doesn’t focus on looks, rather the participants’ abilities.
“It really is showcasing young ladies with their best qualities,” Daniels said.
The program also offers participants the chance to earn college scholarships in various categories.
According to the Distinguished Young Women website, the program awarded more than $2.1 million in cash scholarships to participants in 2019. Distinguished Young Women also works with colleges across the country, including the University of Idaho, to offer college-grant scholarships.
“It’s a super super, super easy way to earn some scholarship money and have fun while doing it,” Payne said.
The program is for high school junior aged girls and is free to participate.
“It goes over any five different elements: It talks about being healthy and teaches girls how to be healthy. How to be involved in the community. To be studious, just to really focus on their studies. And how a good education is so important for their future. To be ambitious and set goals that they plan to achieve. And being responsible morally and ethically and just making good choices day today,” Daniels said.
The Firth/Shelley Distinguished Young Women will hold their first meeting on January 6 at 8:30 p.m. at Elite Studios in Shelley.
“We have different workshops and things throughout the course of the program,” Daniels said.
Participants will perform on April 8.
“Be Your Best Self is the whole aspect of the program and everything that it’s centered around. Through the Distinguished Young Women program, I was able to learn more about my self learn more about others and the community and really just get a feel for being my best self,” Payne said.
To sign up, go to firthshelley.id.distinguishedyw.org and click “Apply Now.”