By Press Reports
A lighted city skyline and Central Park entrance adorned the stage of the Ty Cobb Auditorium on the campus of Ackerman High School on March 17. Eleventh grade Choctaw county residents were invited to participate in this year’s “New York” themed scholarship program. Ladies participating were: Laiken Toombs, Kasey Cooper, Kelli Aurell, Mallory Griffith, Kradeidra Cork, Alison Cooper, Elexus Hughes, and Dayna Presley. On program night, a $3,000 scholarship was awarded to Alison Cooper for being named the Distinguished Young Woman of Choctaw County. Cooper was also the recipient of the $500 scholastic achievement award. Receiving the $1,000 first alternate award was Dayna Presley. Presley also received the $300 fitness award. Laiken Toombs received the $750 2nd Alternate Scholarship, and Kelli Aurell received the $500 3rd alternate scholarship. Other scholarships were also awarded. The $500 Spirit Award, voted on by the contestants, was given to Kradeidra Cork. Mallory Griffith was the recipient of the $500 Be Your Best Self Essay Award Scholarship. The overall winner and fitness winner also received gym memberships and tanning to Around the Clock Fitness in Ackerman. The Choctaw County Program is a part of the largest and oldest scholarship program for high school girls in the nation. More than 2 million dollars in scholarships is presented each year at the local, state, and national level of Distinguished Young Women. The central focus of Distinguished Young Women is, and always has been, to recognize and reward excellence in education. The evaluation process is consistent at the local, state and national levels. The mission is to provide scholarship opportunities to outstanding, college-bound high school girls, and to encourage personal development in all young people through its “Be Your Best Self” outreach program. The Distinguished Young Women Program is made possible by its national sponsors: City of Mobile, Mobile County, Spanx Foundation, Encore Rehabilitation Inc., Mobile Gas-A Sempra Company, Alabama Power Foundation, Regions Bank, Eastern Shore Toyota, and Master Boat Builders. The Twentieth Century Club wishes to thank everyone in the community for supporting the local program.