The Distinguished Young Women Scholarship Program will look quite a bit different this year.
The competitive events will be prerecorded, with those and a live presentation of the awards taking place online at 6 p.m. March 13, said Colleen Denny, chairperson for Distinguished Young Women of Greater Douglas County on Tuesday.
It will be streamed on Facebook Live at the program’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/dywofgdc. That Facebook page will also host an auction to raise money for the girls.
There are just four high school juniors competing in the competition this year.
Sarah Bryan attends Roseburg High School. She wants to attend Umpqua Community College and become a nurse.
Sadie DeVault attends Roseburg High School. She wants to attend Oregon State University. She wants a career in engineering or the military.
Kaley Kuxhausen attends Sutherlin High School. She wants to attend Oregon Health & Science University, or Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, or the University of Pennsylvania. She wants to be a nephrologist, a doctor who specializes in kidney treatment, or physician assistant.
Alexis Reneau attends Roseburg High School. She wants to attend Harvard University or Stanford University. She wants to be a pediatric surgeon.
Bryan will perform a contemporary dance for the talent competition, DeVault will perform on clarinet, Kuxhausen will perform a hula dance and Reneau will perform on the piano.
The competition leads to the naming of a Distinguished Young Woman of Umpqua Valley and a Distinguished Young Woman of Greater Douglas County.
Both girls who win these awards will go on to the state competition this summer.
Denny said she’s still searching for a venue for the award presentation. Each contestant will bring just two people to the event.
“I’m still looking. I’ve asked a church that has let us use their location before for other things. We’ll see what they say,” she said.
Usually the event is held at the Jacoby Auditorium.
“It makes me want to cry just thinking about it,” Denny said.
Still, she said, she wants this year’s competition to be the best it can be.
Last March, in the first month of COVID-19, the event was able to go on at Jacoby with 14 competitors, though tickets at the door were limited to 150 at the last minute in response to a governor’s order limiting the size of gatherings.
The state and national competitions were both virtual last year.
Money will also be tight this year. The girls have raised about $8,000 so far, and usually the top two winners alone receive $5,000 apiece.
Denny said some new sponsors have stepped up this year, though.
“It blows my mind McDonald’s gave us $1,000,” she said.