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Story vying for state title in Distinguished Young Women

Michelle Story is representing Madison County at the state contest for Distinguished Young Women. (CONTRIBUTED)
Michelle Story is representing Madison County at the state contest for Distinguished Young Women. (CONTRIBUTED)

MONTGOMERY – Michelle Story of Huntsville is vying for the state title in the Distinguished Young Women (DYW) competition in Montgomery.

Story is representing Madison County with girls from across Alabama who won their county title. Distinguished Young Women previously was named “America’s Junior Miss” and typically is a forerunner to Miss America.

“The program was revamped to focus on scholarship and not just beauty,” Gail Story said. “The program is intense and very difficult. It’s the entire package and a wonder opportunity.”

Michelle is a senior at Westminster Christian Academy.

Before leaving for Montgomery, Michelle was honored with a tea that “was great preparation. She modeled her outfits, was challenged with interview questions by the guests and performed her talent for her friends and family,” Gail said.

During competition week, Michelle will not have access to a telephone, computer and outside contact with anyone. “She will be cut off, so to speak, from the world,” Gail said.

After arriving on Jan. 10, Michelle will rehearse with her fellow contestants for 12 to 14 hours daily for five days. Judges then will interview the girls. During preliminaries, the contestants will present their fitness, self-expression and talent segments.

For her talent presentation, Michelle will sing “A Time to Say Goodbye.” The finals will be held on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. to choose the state winner.

“Distinguished Young Women is a scholarship program, not a pageant,” Gail said. “Michelle has won $2,500 to-date. The state program (has) thousands of dollars of scholarships available for contestants, not just the winner of the state.”

The national competition will be held in Mobile in June.

The DYW executive board encourages school, friends and family to write to Michelle. Her host family’s address is 1962 Duck Pond Road, Montgomery AL 36117.

For more information, visit ajm.org.

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