Distinguished Young Women OF Florida

is part of a national scholarship program that promotes and rewards scholastics, leadership and talent in young women. Earn scholarships for higher education, personally develop through the DYW Life Skills Workshops, and make new friends from around the state.

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Photo of Ava Johnson
Ava Johnson
Distinguished Young Woman of Florida for 2024
State Program Information

2024 State Finals

Friday, February 9th at 6:00 pm
Ticket Sales start at 5:15 pm | Doors open 5:30 pm
Orlando Family Stage, Edyth-Bush Theater
Orlando, Florida

$10 per person
Children under 3 free

Life-Changing Experience

College scholarships are awarded at the state level and millions in college-granted scholarships are available nationally. The state representative will advance to the national program for the opportunity to compete for cash tuition scholarships. To participate, you must be in your junior of high school. Participants are evaluated in the areas of: scholastics, interview, talent, self-expression, and fitness.

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2024 Distinguished Young Woman of Florida

Photo of Ava Johnson
Ava Johnson
FromSt. Petersburg
University PreferenceUniversity of Alabama Honors College
Career GoalTo attend law school and work in public policy

2024 Distinguished Young Woman of Pinellas County

Photo of Ava Johnson
Ava Johnson
St. Petersburg

University Preference
University of Alabama Honors College

Career Goal
To attend law school and work in public policy

Published Author (6 books), "Am I A Princess?" series and "The Magic of a Marching Band" (2021-2023)Excellence in Leadership Award, West Point Society of Florida (2023)Bronze Award, The President's Volunteer Service Award (2023)RBG Scholar, National Society of High School Scholars (2022)Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen Finalist & Teens In Action Winner (2022)Veteran Guardian, Central Florida Honor Flight (2022)Florida Outstanding Thespian Award (2021)Superior Musical Performances, Florida District & State Thespians (2021, 2023)

Drum Major, Calvary Christian Marching Band (2023)Marian Paroo, The Music Man, Calvary Christian High School (2023)President, Debate Club, Calvary Christian High School (2022-2023)Delegate, Youth Leadership Pinellas (2022-2023)Delegate, Florida Girls State (2023)Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins, Calvary Christian High School (2022)Member, Honor Societies: National Honor Society (2022-2024), Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society (Math) (2022-2024), Rho Kappa Honor Society (History) (2022-2024), Science Honor Society (2022-2024), English Honor Society (2023-2024), International Thespian Society (2022-2024) Chaplain, Calvary Christian Marching Band (2022)Delegate, HOBY Leadership Development Program (2022)Editor and Writer, Student Newspaper, Shorecrest Preparatory High School (2020-2021)

Teen Board Member/Leader, The Empowerment Foundation (2019-2023)Creator/Host, Youth Leadership Series, The Empowerment Foundation (2020-2022)Volunteer, Central Florida Honor Flight (2022)Wreaths Across America (2021)Children of the American Revolution/DAR (2022-2023)

2024 State Participants

Photo of Alexis Ash
Alexis Ash
CityBoca Raton
University PreferenceGeorgetown University or Yale University
Career GoalWriter, Publisher, Editor, Marketing, Advertising
TalentSlam Poetry
Photo of Kennedy Brabham
Kennedy Brabham
University PreferenceUniversity of Southern California, Harvard, Dartmouth, University of California Los Angeles
Career GoalScreenwriter, Director, Producer, Entrepreneur
TalentStorytelling, Screenwriting, Directing, Producing, Innovation
Photo of Sarah Gautney
Sarah Gautney
University PreferenceFlorida State University, University of Alabama
Career GoalFilm Director/Writer
TalentSinging And Playing Guitar
Photo of BayLeigh  Handley
BayLeigh  Handley
University PreferenceAuburn University
Career GoalArchitecture/Design
Photo of Lillian Hatch
Lillian Hatch
University PreferenceFlorida State University
Career GoalLaw Degree
TalentDance Routine
Photo of Gabrielle Hopkins
Gabrielle Hopkins
CityGulf Breeze
University PreferenceUniversity of Florida/ Florida State University
Career GoalPhysician / Orthopedic Surgeon
Photo of Ava Johnson
Ava Johnson
CitySt. Petersburg
University PreferenceUniversity of Alabama Honors College
Career GoalTo Attend Law School And Work In Public Policy
TalentMusical Theater
Photo of Mya Kanji
Mya Kanji
CityFort Walton Beach
University PreferenceUniversity of Florida
Career GoalDermatology
TalentIndian Dance
Photo of Ishitha Panguluri
Ishitha Panguluri
University Preference
Career GoalComputer Science Or Neuroscience
TalentArt Painting
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