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updated: 11/14/2012 11:05 AM


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  • Nina Strong, Distinguished Young Woman of Streamwood 2013

    Nina Strong, Distinguished Young Woman of Streamwood 2013

Tiana Evans

Nine high school senior women from across the state will compete in the 56th annual Distinguished Young Women of Illinois scholarship competition on Sunday, November 18 at the Timbers of Shorewood (1100 North River Road). The program will take place at 2:30 p.m. The program was formerly known as Illinois' Junior Miss.

The categories in which the contestants will be evaluated are scholastics (20%), interview (25%), talent (25%), fitness (15%), and self-expression (15%).

The young women who will compete in the Distinguished Young Women of Illinois 2013 scholarship program are: April Butcher of Bolingbrook, Kylie Hardin of Forest Park, Hunter Hill of Thawville, Isha Jog of Schaumburg, Nicolette Maas of Lyle, Erika Smolyar of Lake Zurich, Nina Strong of Streamwood, Johanna Sveden of Crystal Lake, and Amanda Vitrano of Chicago.

Admission to the program is free, and the doors will open to the public at 2:00 p.m.

The young woman selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Illinois will travel to Mobile, Alabama, to participate in personal development activities and community service projects before competing for the opportunity to become the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2013 and for a share of more than $125,000 in cash scholarships.

Founded in 1958 in Mobile, Alabama, America's Junior Miss, now Distinguished Young Women of America, is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. During its 55 years of operation, the program has provided life-changing experiences for more than 700,000 young women. Last year Distinguished Young Women provided more than $63 million in cash and college scholarships opportunities.

Distinguished Young Women is a scholarship program that inspires high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments. National sponsors include the City of Mobile, Mobile County, Eastern Shore Toyota, Encore Rehabilitation, SPANX, Mobile Gas: A Sempra Company, Alabama Power Foundation, Regions Bank and Master Boat Builders.

For more information about Distinguished Young Women of Illinois, please contact Tiana Evans, Chairwoman, at

For more information about Distinguished Young Women, contact Stephanie Bradford, National Headquarters Communications Director, (251-622-5335, or visit