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Two PHS seniors compete in Distinguished Young Women


Submitted Photo

Eva Kowalski, 18, and Patricia Jackson, 17, pose in their gowns after the the formal part of the Distinguished Young Women competition took place in the Ketchikan High School auditorium.

PHS Seniors Eva Kowalski and Patricia Jackson last month participated in the Distinguished Young Women program in Ketchikan.

Eight young women participated in a week-long event formerly known as Junior Miss. The competition is to promote and reward scholarship, leadership and talent. The winner of the local event will compete on the national level in Mobile, Ala.

The competition, was open to young women who have never been married or given birth, and met GPA and other requirements.

Competitors are put through the paces including a 10-minute personal interview, a 90-second talent, and are judged on fitness, self-expression, grace, poise, demeanor, carriage, posture and speaking ability.

“My mom saw it [advertised] in the school bulletin and she pushed me into doing it. And I went online and filled out an application and a profile. Then we went to Ketchikan and spent a week there,” Jackson said.

“We learned a lot about Ketchikan that we didn’t know. I’ve been there several times and I still learned a lot,” Jackson said adding that the participants took a tour of everything from the totem pole park to the dry dock.

The only part of the event that felt like a beauty pageant was the self-expression part. “You get all dressed up and walk around on stage, to show your poise, and then you have to answer questions,” Kowalski said.

The judges were from Ketchikan, Seattle and Metlakatla, and one was a previous winner of the competition.

During the talent portion, Jackson recited the poem, “Fairy-tale Logic” by A.E. Stallings. Kowalski danced to Irene Cara’s What A Feelin’, from the movie soundtrack Flashdance.

Both girls said they were very surprised that only eight teens participated in the state-wide event.

The winner of the event was Emma Scott of Ketchikan. Scott received a scholarship and will go on to the national competition in June. Kowalski was the second place winner and third place went to Emmie VanWyhe of Kenny Lake.

Distinguished Young Women is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. More than 700,000 young women have participated since 1958 and have been awarded more than $93 million in cash scholarships at the local, state and national levels.

Both Kowalski and Jackson are weighing their college options for next year, they said.


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