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 Sarah Downing
Sarah Downing
Distinguished Young Woman of Florida for 2023
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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2023 Distinguished Young Woman of Florida

Photo of Sarah Downing
Sarah Downing
FromPanama City Bch
University PreferenceFlorida State University
Career GoalProfessional Dancer, Athletic Trainer

2023 Distinguished Young Woman of Florida

Photo of Sarah Downing
Sarah Downing
Panama City Bch

University Preference
Florida State University

Career Goal
Professional Dancer, Athletic Trainer

Arnold High School Top 5 GPAArt of Movement Preprofessional ProgramBright Futures ScholarCapstone Diploma Award CandidateInductee, Collegiate Studies OrganizationInductee, National Honor SocietyMSA Talent Agency Workshop ScholarshipRevel Dance Convention Pro RevelerSenior Homecoming Representative Tremaine Performance Company

Member, Beta ClubMember, Collegiate Studies OrganizationMember, Fellowship of Christian AthletesMember, Got Hope - cancer awareness organizationMember, Junior Classical LeagueMember, National Honor SocietyPresident, Dance Club President, Pep ClubTreasurer, Key ClubVice President, National Honor Society of Dance Arts

After school program volunteer with Boys and Girls Club of Bay CountyBackstage Volunteer at Gulf Coast Jam, assisting with food and merchandiseVacation Bible School and guest services volunteer at Gulf Beach Baptist ChurchVolunteer at Trinity Lutheran Church Food PantryVolunteer with Dance4All fundraising showcase for inclusive dance lessons

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 PreferenceHarvard College or University of Alabama
Career GoalTo Attend Law School And Make A Positive Impact In Society
TalentMusical Theater Vocal
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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