(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
Mackenzie Acord, Avery Arnold and Lily Kirry will be in this year’s program at Center for the Arts…
It’s been a time-honored tradition since the 1960s, and it continues again this year as Jenkins Junior/Senior High School juniors will compete for the title of Chewelah’s Distinguished Young Woman.
For the first time in the program’s history, the Distinguished Young Women program will be at the Chewelah Center for the Arts on March 23 at 7 p.m.
This year’s field includes Mackeznie Acord, Avery Arnold and Lilly Kirry. Since there are three girls, all three will be on the award-winning Chewelah Community Float this summer.
The program is broken down into several scholarships based on how the girls do in the competition. Participants will be judged on academics, poise, talent, interviewing skills and fitness.
Helping out with the program is long-time supporters Brenda Gregerson, Becky Gregerson, Janet McLaughlin, Kellie Trudeau, Sarah Cochran and Keith Cochran.
For all three girls, they’ve been waiting for years to get into the DYW program and are excited to perform. Here are this year’s juniors.
Lilly Kirry is a standout athlete for JHS athletics. She is a two-time state champion in the hurdles and also on the JHS volleyball team. She is the ASB Student Board Representative and has been involved in student leadership since grade school. She is a member of the Knowledge Bowl team and the treasurer for the JHS National Honors Society.
“I mainly wanted to do the program so that I could be a part of something which I have never tried before and something that is so meaningful in my community,” Kirry said. “I also knew that the Distinguished Young Women Program would help me develop my interview and social skills. Being a part of the Distinguished Young Women program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. So, I decided to take advantage of the amazing opportunity I was given. Also, I am always happy about potentialy receiving scholarship money.”
Her sister Merideth, was also a member of the DYW program.
Kirry said she is excited for the program and the float this year and that the community is lucky to have such dedicated community members who put on both the DYW program and do the community float.
“Although we only have three participants this year, the adults involved in the program are dedicated and doing everything they can to make each of our experiences amazing,” Kirry said. “The float this year is going to be so amazing, I can hardly wait to be a part of the construction of such an amazing representation of our town.”
For her talent, she will be singing the song “Hang on Little Tomato” by Pink Martinis while playing the ukelele.
Mackenzie Acord is a stage manager and actress for both StageTime Theatre and the JJSHS theatre program. She also participates in National Honor Society, Peer-to-Peer Suicide Prevention, Students Promoting Healthy Youth Relationship Club as well as the school’s jazz and concert band.
“For the last several years I have been going to the DYW program and whenever I saw the girls get onto the stage, it made me wish that I was up there with them because it looked like so much fun,” Acord said. “But really it is much deeper than that. I’ve had many friends that have told me how much confidence they have gained by being a part of this program and that is something that I want for myself I as have never really felt very comfortable in my own skin.”
Acord added that the community float looks like a lot of fun and she’s excited for the summer to spend more time with family and get to know Avery and Lily better while doing the float.
“I have always dreamed of getting up on the stage and showing the world (aka Chewelah) what I am made of,” Acord said. “I would just like to add that I am very grateful for the love and support that my family has given me throughout this entire process. I wouldn’t be able to do it if it wasn’t for them.”
For her talent she will be playing tenor saxophone but she’s not going to say which song because she wants it to be a surprise.
Avery Arnold is a state tournament-level golfer and plays volleyball for the Chewelah Cougars while being part of the National Honor Society and leadership class.
“I have wanted to do DYW since I was little,” Arnold said. “I have always wanted to be on the float and now the chance for scholarships is a good thing.”
Arnold plans on doing a monologue with some science mixed in for her talent. The Independent is not quite sure what this means but we hope there are spacecrafts involved.
“I am very excited for the program and the float for the new experiences,” Arnold said.