Most distinguished: Snell chosen as Clark County’s Distinguished Young Woman

Published 1:38 pm Monday, August 13, 2018

Haley Snell, the daughter Whitney and Daren Snell, was named the 2019 Clark County Distinguished Young Woman at the 41st annual program Friday.

She was handed the DYW medallion from 2018 Clark County Distinguished Young Woman Caroline Handshoe, the daughter of Amy and Ron Handshoe and a 2018 graduate of George Rogers Clark High School.

“I wasn’t expecting to win,” Snell said. “But I think anyone of my friends would have been a good contestant … And I was shocked. So I’m excited.”

Along with her local title, Snell also won a fitness award, a talent award, a self-expression award and was named the scholastic winner. With the various honors, Snell earned $1,600 in cash scholarships during the program. She also won a one-year membership to Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation.

Snell will also represent the local program at the state competition in January. Kentucky DYW hosts its program in Lexington, and there, Snell will compete for a chance to be named the 2019 Kentucky Distinguished Young Woman as well as an opportunity to win additional scholarships.

Snell is also involved in competitive dance, youth group, Smoke Signals newspaper and National Honor Society. She is also the Beta Club president, an Advanced Placement scholar, Wesley Woods counselor and Crossing Kids Camp counselor. She is undecided on her career plans.

For her talent, Snell performed a self-choreographed dance to “Elastic” by Sia.

The theme for the program this year was “The Greatest Show,” inspired by the film, “The Greatest Showman.” Nine contestants, who are all incoming seniors at George Rogers Clark High School, competed and performed in front of an audience and a panel of six judges in talent, self-expression and fitness categories.

Friday’s talents included singing, dancing, poetry, acting, painting and archery.

Clark County’s DYW organization is part of a national nonprofit scholarship program that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership and talent in young women, according to the DYW website. DYW was created in 1958 and is the oldest and largest national scholarship program for high school girls, providing more than $106 million in cash scholarships nationwide.

The program focuses on helping young girls develop life skills, like interviewing skills, public speaking and making positive choices. It emphasizes being healthy, involved, studious, ambitious and responsible. It’s all about being “your best self.”

DYW awards cash scholarships at the local level and millions of dollars in college-granted scholarships are available.

Before the participants took the stage, judges had already scored them on 50 percent of the competition — interview and scholastic performance.

In total, contestants competed in five categories, with each accounting for a different percentage of their overall score. Categories included talent, 20 percent; fitness, 15 percent; self-expression, 15 percent; scholastics, 25 percent; and interview 25 percent.

The full list of winners are:

— Fitness ($100 scholarship each sponsored by Clark Regional Medical Center): Jasmine Flowers, Haley Snell and Natalie Anderson

— Interview ($100 award each sponsored by Scobee Funeral Home): Ramsey Morris and Emilie Stevenson

— Talent ($100 scholarship each sponsored by Clark Regional Medical Center): Current Tackett and Haley Snell

— Self-expression ($100 award each sponsored by DT Hood Properties): Jasmine Flowers and Haley Snell

— “Be your best self” ($300 scholarship sponsored by Rotary Club): Current Tackett

— “Be your best self” runner-up ($200 scholarship sponsored by Rotary Club): Jaylan Homan

— Scholastic runner-ups ($100 each sponsored by Central Bank): Mackenzie Crowl and Natalie Anderson

— Scholastic winner ($300 scholarship sponsored by Central Bank): Haley Snell

— Fara Fox Tyree Spirit Award ($100 donated by “Miss Fara” and voted on by other contestants): Natalie Anderson

— Donna Fuller Passion Award ($100 donated by “Miss Donna”): Brooklyn Johnson

— 110 percent committee award ($100 donated by the committee): Jaylan Homan

— Second runner-up ($300 scholarship sponsored by DT Hood Properties): Current Tackett

— First runner-up ($400 award sponsored by Friends of DYW): Natalie Anderson

— 2019 Clark County Distinguished Young Woman ($1,000 scholarship sponsored by Friends of DYW): Haley Snell

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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