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Article updated: 11/19/2012 6:55 PM

Schaumburg teen wins statewide scholarship program

Johanna Sveden, Isha Jog, and Nina Strong, overall winners in the Distinguished Young Women of Illinois 2013 Scholarship Program

Johanna Sveden, Isha Jog, and Nina Strong, overall winners in the Distinguished Young Women of Illinois 2013 Scholarship Program


Tiana Evans

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By Tiana Evans

Isha Jog, a senior at Hoffman Estates High School, won the title of Distinguished Young Woman of Illinois and a $3,000 cash scholarship for college on Sunday when nine high school senior women from across the state competed in the 56th annual Distinguished Young Women of Illinois scholarship competition, a program formerly known as Illinois' Junior Miss.

The categories in which the contestants were evaluated are scholastics (20%), interview (25%), talent (25%), fitness (15%), and self-expression (15%). Isha took top scores in scholastics, interview, and self-expression.


The other young women who competed in the Distinguished Young Women of Illinois 2012 scholarship program were: April Butcher of Bolingbrook, Kylie Hardin of Forest Park, Hunter Hill of Thawville, Nicolette Maas of Lisle, Erika Smolyar of Lake Zurich, Nina Strong of Streamwood, Johanna Sveden of Crystal Lake, and Amanda Vitrano of Chicago. Sveden won scholarships as the first runner-up and as winner of the scholastics and fitness categories, Strong took the second runner-up spot, and Hill won the spirit award.

Isha is the Student Council Vice President and a member of the National Honor Society, Business Professionals of America, Orchesis Dance Team, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Senior Class Club, and D.A.R.E America Youth Advisory Board. She is a Schaumburg Library Student Advisory Trustee and has received a Presidential Volunteer Service Award, Serve Illinois' Governor's Volunteer Service Award, Nedra Stewart Community Service Award, Village of Hoffman Estates "Great Citizen" Award, and Cook County Sheriff's Youth Medal of Honor. Isha performed a Kathuk Indian classical dance routine for the talent portion of the competition.

As the Distinguished Young Woman of Illinois 2013, Isha 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, is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. During its 54 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 IllinoisDYW@gmail.com.

For more information about Distinguished Young Women, contact Stephanie Bradford, National Headquarters Communications Director, (251-622-5335, Stephanie@DistinguishedYW.org) or visit www.DistinguishedYW.org.

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