Competition Begins For Cleveland Teen Participating In National Scholarship Program

Friday, June 23, 2017

Thursday marks the start of competition for Halla Maynard, the Cleveland teen competing in the 60th Distinguished Young Women National Finals. Ms. Maynard, along with 50 other state representatives, has been in Mobile, Ala. for the past two weeks participating in community activities and preparing for the national scholarship competition. 

The program’s evaluation process includes scholastics (25 percent), interview (25 percent), fitness (15 percent), talent (20 percent) and self-expression (15 percent). During the preliminary competition Thursday and next Friday, each participant will compete in the categories of self-expression, fitness and talent. Ms. Maynard has completed an individual interview with a panel of five judges and her scholastic performance has been scored through an evaluation process of her high school academic record and standardized test scores.
On Saturday, July 1, 10 finalists will be selected from the group of 51 young women and will compete for the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2017 and for a share of thousands of dollars in cash scholarships. 

“The 51 state representatives have an energy, enthusiasm, intellect and drive that serve as a reminder of the power of our youth and show us that the future is in good hands,” said Kendra Haskins, executive director of Distinguished Young Women. “Throughout their two weeks in Mobile they have left a mark upon all they have met - whether through volunteer service, a kind word to a child, or the staff and crew of the program who work with them during their stay.  We are thrilled to be celebrating the 60th anniversary of this program and of impacting the lives of not only the young women who are with us in Mobile, but the thousands of others Distinguished Young Women inspires to be their best.” 

For her talent presentation, Ms. Maynard will perform “Crazy for You” by Adele. Ms. Maynard is a 2017 graduate of Bradley Central High School and the daughter of Kendra Steveson and Jason Steveson. 

To view the live webcast of the Distinguished Young Women National Finals, visit on Thursday-Saturday, June 29-July 1, at 7 p.m. CST. To see photos of participants from their time in Mobile, visit

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