Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2018
Indiana’s Aaryan Morrison was named the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2018 on June 30, 2018, during the 61stNational Finals in Mobile, Alabama.
Aaryan attended Kokomo High School where she graduated as the class Salutatorian from the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Her academic honors include achieving status as a National Merit Commended Scholar, AP Scholar with distinction, IASP Rising Star, Student Council President and Vice President of the Girls League. She also served as a student ambassador to China.
Outside of the classroom, Aaryan certified as a Pre-Professional Cecchetti Method of Ballet dance and ISSMA State Gold-rated musician. She was also captain of the StageStruck Competitive Dance Team, a member of the Wind Ensemble, the Student Athletic Leadership Team and the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board.
With plans to attend Harvard University and pursue a career as a United Nations Development Programme Administrator, Aaryan is globally focused – a characteristic that has been instilled in her throughout her entire life. The daughter of South African immigrants, Aaryan is a first-generation American who is proud to be contributing to her parents’ vision of the American dream.
Winning more than $46,000 in cash scholarships and a gold medallion, Aaryan will serve as the national representative of Distinguished Young Women throughout the year.
- She is a first-generation American! Her parents immigrated to the United States from South Africa: “They moved to the US 22 years ago leaving everything they ever knew back home in South Africa on the dream that in America they could raise children to have as much success as possible. Seeing my parents work so hard every day to have what they have inspires me.”
- Aaryan organized a spring-break volunteer trip for her IB class to a Navajo reservation in New Mexico: “It was crazy to see that such cultural differences existed without having to leave our borders. There’s an entire nation of people in the Southwest who are so misunderstood.”
- Her family has hosted foreign exchange students since Aaryan’s seventh-grade year of school and she counts the students they have hosted as part of her family: “It has really been an eye-opening experience to see the genuine exchange of ideas and how it doesn’t require anything but a conversation.”
- Aaryan doesn’t see herself as a student who enjoys STEM-based classes, but she names Physics as her favorite subject: “I’m not a STEM person, but my physics teacher made it incredible. He taught in such a way that I wanted to learn.”
- Due to her South African – and British English – heritage, Aaryan’s vocabulary includes a “mash-up” of British and American English words.
- She loves dark chocolate, Moose Tracks ice cream and shoes.
Request an interview with or appearance by Aaryan.