Our View: DYW encourages women for future

It’s that time of year again for a handful of young Clark County women to put their talents, intelligence, poise and more on display. The annual Distinguished Young Woman program is slated for 7 p.m. Friday at George Rogers Clark High School. Tickets are on sale through today at the school.

The program is in its 41st year and continues the tradition of not only giving young women an opportunity to compete for scholarships but also building their confidence long after the program is over.

While there remains an often misunderstood distinction between pageants and scholarship programs, both offering benefits for the young women who participate.

Distinguished Young Woman is a scholarship program designed to help young women with future job and collegiate endeavors. The program has helped hundreds of young women gain confidence, interviewing skills, scholarship money and life-long friendships.

It is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls, providing more than $100 million in cash scholarships. The program focuses on helping young girls develop life skills, like interviewing skills, public speaking and making positive choices — all while encouraging them to “be their best self.”

DYW is not about celebrating how a young woman looks, although it teaches young women to feel comfortable in their own skin. A Distinguished Young Woman is judged on her scholastic achievements, self-expression, talent, interviewing skills and fitness. Off the judge’s paper, a Distinguished Young Woman is judged on her grace and poise, her kindness towards the other participants and her willingness to step out of her comfort zone to try something new.

It takes a lot of guts for anyone to step out on stage and be judged by a room full of people and a panel of judges. These young women show a lot of maturity for their age by doing so willingly and with hopes of gaining skills and financial support for their future endeavors.

Four decades of helping young women become their best selves is something to be applauded.

We encourage the community to continue supporting this program and the talented bright young women who compete each year, after all, they’re the future of our community.