2019 National Representative

Dora Guo
Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2019

Illinois’ Dora Guo was named the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2019 during the 62nd National Finals in Mobile, Alabama.

(Seth Laubinger/Ruby Media)

Dora attended Adlai E. Stevenson High School. Her academic honors include Gold Honor Roll, National Honor Society, the Ambassador Award for Volunteer Service and the Chinese-American Association in Greater Chicago Youth Leadership Award.

Outside of the classroom, Dora is a leader among her peers. She is a passionate activist for change and acceptance. Dora was the President of Catalyst, a substance abuse prevention club at her school, and an instrumental member of Fostering Intercultural Respect and Empowerment, or F.I.R.E., a racial advocacy group which was developed in order to being more awareness to the conversation of race in education.

Dora has been trained in ballet and Chinese folk dance since the age of twelve. She developed her love for Chinese dance through a cultural dance studio close to her home. She enjoys the difficulty of Chinese folk dance, which has brought her to international competitions.

In the fall, Dora will attend Yale University with plans to pursue a career in educational administration. She plans to one day be involved in change and transparency in education in order to truly “flip the switch” on how our current system works.

Winning more than $32,000 in cash scholarships and a gold medallion, Dora will represent the Class of 2019 as the Distinguished Young Woman of America during this year.


  • She is a first-generation Chinese American. Dora’s parents both immigrated to the United States and met in the northern-Chicago area, where they then raised Dora and her two siblings.
  • Dora has competed twice at the Overseas Taoli Cup, an international version of the World Taoli Cup, where she has been able to meet other Chinese folk dancers from all over the world.
  • Dora loves PanAsian cuisine and one day hopes to “eat her way through Asia.”
  • Through her involvement in Catalyst, Dora was able to help pass the Tobacco 21 bill in Illinois. Her legislative work addressed the vaping epidemic in high schools.
  • Dora thinks social media can be used as a force for good! “People are always talking… whether that be memes and dance moves or social issues, the connections are everywhere.”
  • Things that never fail to make Dora laugh: the DYW chaperone “Moms,” Key & Peele and her friends quoting Vines.
  • What inspires Dora? “Right now it is most definitely the 49 other state representatives who stood beside me.”

Request an interview with or appearance from Dora.

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