‘this is the greatest feeling’: W.S. Neal’s Madden wins Distinguished Young Woman
Published 4:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Jordyn Madden was surprised to hear her name called Saturday night as the winner of the Escambia County Distinguished Young Woman competition.
But the W.S. Neal student had already won five of the seven individual awards, including best interview, fitness, self-expression, spirit of DYW and talent — for her baton twirling/dance to “All That Jazz.”
Madden, the daughter of Mark and Julie Madden, competed along with seven other rising high school seniors in the scholarship program, formerly known as Junior Miss. The young women took to the stage at Jefferson Davis Community College’s Woodfin Patterson Auditorium Saturday night.
First alternate went to Katherine Baggett of T.R. Miller, and second alternate to Ashley Daugherty, also of T.R. Miller.
Baggett also won the scholastic award, while Gianna Bailey, of T.R. Miller, took the “Be Your Best Self” essay award.
“I feel absolutely wonderful, this is the greatest feeling,” Madden said moments after winning. “All the girls were wonderful and I am just very, very happy.”
Madden said when her name was called as the 2012 winner she was surprised.
“Wow, I can’t believe I actually did it,” Madden said of her reaction. “I think I am going to have to do a lot (to represent Escambia County). I am going to have to be a very good person and live up to my title. I love Junior Miss and Distinguished Young Women. It is a great program.”
As winner of the 2012 Distinguished Young Woman of Escambia County, Madden won an official medallion, a $2,000 cash tuition scholarship, and tuition for four semesters to Jefferson Davis Community College.
Contestants in the 2012 program were: Jade Marysa Danley, from W.S. Neal High School, the daughter of Hubert and Patrea Danley. Ashley Stacey Daugherty, from T.R. Miller High School, the daughter of James and Stacey Daugherty. Gianna Ariel Bailey, from T.R. Miller High School, the daughter of Jim Beers and Altha Bailey. Jordyn Hailey Madden, from W.S. Neal High School, the daughter of Mark and Julie Madden. Katherine Jessica Baggett, from T.R. Miller High School, the daughter of Gregory Baggett and Connie Baggett. Breanna Chantel Mellinger, from Flomaton High School, daughter of Timothy and Christi Lee. Abigail Victoria Carlson, from T.R. Miller High School, daughter of Jeffery and Sandi Carlson, and Raley Lanell Boggs, from W.S. Neal High School, who is the daughter of Timothy and Dana Boggs.
Of the 42 overall winners of the program (1964-1966 and 1974-2012), Madden is the fourth W.S. Neal student to win the program. Other W.S. Neal winners were Meghan Hultz (2003), Felicia Rider (1992) and Teresa Graves Gleaton in 1981.
Distinguished Young Women has a presence in all 50 states with more than 400 local programs in towns and cities across the country. The competition for scholarships begins at the local level during the junior or senior year for high school girls. Each Distinguished Young Women program evaluates participants in the following categories: Scholastics (20 percent of overall score), Interview (25 percent of overall score), Talent (25 percent of overall score), Fitness (15 percent of overall score), and Self-Expression (15 percent of overall score).
Once a participant receives the overall award at her local program, she advances to the state program. All state winners participate in the National Finals competition in Mobile, Alabama in June after they graduate from high school. In addition to college scholarships, a Distinguished Young Woman receives a medallion to symbolize her achievements in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. There are no fees to enter the program.
Founded in 1958 in Mobile, Distinguished Young Women is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls.