Sixteen young women representing Rowan County took to the stage at Morehead State University’s Button Auditorium to showcase their poise, talents, and fitness as they vied for the title of 2018 Distinguished Young Woman of Rowan County. At the end of the evening, Hathlyn Chapman, daughter of Hans and Ophelia Chapman, was awarded the title of Rowan County’s 2018 Distinguished Young Woman.
The runners-up for the Rowan County DYW scholarship program were Ellie Cook, daughter of Stacy Ritchie and Lowell Cook, (1st runner-up), Sarah Hallock, daughter of Shellie and Ben Hallock, (2nd runner-up), Holly Lamb, daughter of Louise and Don Lamb, (3rd runner-up), and Holdyn Morrow, daughter of Regina Morrow, (4th runner-up.)
The sixteen young women who represented Rowan County were in alphabetical order: Kenadie Butler, Hathlyn Chapman, Ellie Cook, Alexandra Cox, Madison Glover, Janae Graham, Sarah Hallock, Holly Lamb, Candace Markwell, Cecelia Miller, Khloe Moore, Holdyn Morrow, Hannah O’Brien, Chloe Patrick, Macee Pennington, and Morgan Wagoner. The emcees for this year’s DYW scholarship program were Michael Bogucki and Nathan Terrell.
The Distinguished Young Women program, which began nationally in 1958 as Junior Miss, is the largest scholarship program for young women who are seniors in high school. Just as the national program was sponsored by the Jaycees, Rowan County’s program was also originally sponsored by the Jaycees. The Morehead Women’s Club took over sponsorship of the competition in 1986.
The contestants taking part in the Distinguished Young Woman scholarship program are scored in five separate areas. These areas are Interview (25%), Scholastics (25%), Talent (20%), Fitness (15%) and Self-Expression (15%). The only on-stage categories are Talent, Self-Expression and Fitness.
The Scholastics and Interview portions of the program took place earlier in the day, with the contestants meeting with judges at the Rowan County Board of Education building. Holly Lamb and Sarah Hallock were named as the winners of the Scholastics portion while Holdyn Morrow and Hathlyn Chapman won the Interview portion.
Contestants were also required to demonstrate their physical fitness with a variety of exercise components put to music. Not only do the contestants perform these exercise components as a group, they are also required to show their individual fitness levels. Winners of the Fitness portion were Macee Pennington, daughter of Jenny and Lee Pennington, and Hathlyn Chapman.
Talent ranged from musical selections and monologues to self-defense and gymnastics routines. The winners of the Talent portion of the program were Hannah O’Brien, daughter of Brenda and William O’Brien, and Madison Glover, daughter of Olivia and Brian Glover.
The Self-Expression category required contestants to answer an impromptu question. The winners of the Self-Expression portion were Hathlyn Chapman and Holdyn Morrow..
Before announcing the name of the Distinguished Young Woman winners and runners-up, preliminary award winners were announced. The Barbara Fossett Leadership Award, which was created in memory of a longtime Junior Miss/ Distinguished Young Woman sponsor, was presented to Sarah Hallock. The winner of the Savannah Jo Kissick “Be Your Best Self” Memorial Scholarship Award was Candace Markwell, daughter of Jennifer and Dan Markwell. Macee Pennington was the recipient of the Lucy Conn Moore Spirit Scholarship.
“The young ladies that take part in this program, no matter how they finish, are all winners,” said Lucy Moore. “What they take away from their participation in the Distinguished Young Women program – poise, self-confidence, and pride in academic excellence – can help them as they prepare for their future and move into their careers.”
Rowan County’s 2018 Distinguished Young Woman Hathlyn Chapman is now eligible to move on to compete at the state level in Kentucky’s 2018 Distinguished Young Woman program to be held in January 2018.