Distinguished Young Women OF New Jersey

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.

Learn more

Photo of Elise Tao
Elise Tao
Distinguished Young Woman of New Jersey for 2024
State Program Information

Class of 2024 Program

Evaluations: Saturday, February 17, 2024

Virtual Showcase Premieres Sunday, February 25, 2024

Showcase link:

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.


Now accepting applications for Class of 2025 and later.

Apply Now

2024 Distinguished Young Woman of New Jersey

Photo of Elise Tao
Elise Tao
FromUpper Saddle River
University PreferenceHarvard University
Career GoalMedia Company CEO

2024 Distinguished Young Woman of New Jersey

Photo of Elise Tao
Elise Tao
Upper Saddle River

University Preference
Harvard University

Career Goal
Media Company CEO

Summer Programs - Accepted and attended: Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program, Kenyon Young Writers Workshop, Iowa Young Writers Studio, School of the New York Times, Ellipsis Writing, Economics for Leaders, JCamp, NJ Girls State (Elected as County Representative/Head)Publications - Sole Magazine, The Eunoia Review, Apprentice Writer, Teen Ink, Synthesis Publications, The Interlochen Review, DIAGRAM (forthcoming), Assembly by The Malala Fund (forthcoming), DIALOGIST (request for publication)YoungArts - Adjuncation Finalist for Writing (Spoken Word)Writing Awards - Finalist: Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest, Bennington Young Writers Awards, Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Scholarship, Anthony Quinn Literary Arts Scholarship, Rider University 41st Writing Contest, Apprentice Writer (Susquehanna University) - Top 5 for PoetryScholastic Art & Writing - Gold Keys (9), Silver Keys (12), Honorable Mentions (17)Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medal for Mathematics and Science; New Jersey Nominee for the United States Senate Youth Program; Level V Honorable Mention for the National Spanish ExaminationsDisney Dreamers Academy (<0.4% acceptance rate), Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship WinnerModel UN Awards - Yale MUN (Best Delegate), Harvard MUN China (Outstanding Delegate), Columbia MUN (Verbal Commendation), Phillips Exeter Academy MUN - Outstanding Delegate, Dalton MUN (Verbal Commendation)2024 Coca-Cola Scholars Semi-Finalist, 2024 GE-Reagan Scholars Semi-Finalist, College Board - National Merit Commended Scholar and AP Scholar with DistinctionDECA - Districts First Place (2020, 2023), Second Place (2022), State Qualifier (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)

Synthesis Publications (Founded in 2020, multimedia youth arts magazine dedicated to uplifting voices and encouraging teens to harness their creativity across the world) - 70+ staff members, 500K+ impressions across social mediaFreelance Writer (Poetry and journalism published in notable magazines and news outlets)Screenwriter and Set Assistant US Short Film Production (Arthur B. Liu/Queens Art Education Center Documentary) Students Demand Action (Member of National Training Team, Bergen County Co-Lead, & AAPI affinity group) Vice President and Head Delegate of Training of Model UNPresident of Mathletes and Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics National Honor Society; Member of National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Rho Kappa Social Studies National Honor Society, & Business National Honor SocietyPresident of Poetry Out Loud (Spoken Word Club)Senior Girl Scout (Working towards Gold Award; Completed Bronze and Silver Award)History and Business Internships with Northwestern and NYU ProfessorsHarvard University Secondary School Program (7-Week) - Graduate Class (International Conflict and Cooperation) with Dustin Tingley; Finished course with an A+

UNA-USA Youth Volunteer (; Invitee to Represent School Sisters of Notre Dame at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women) & County Government VolunteerPeer Tutor (AP Economics, AP Calculus, English, History, AP Physics)Campus Ministry VolunteerMonterey Park Victims Fund Organizer in Local CommunityScholastic Art and Writing Teen Writing Marathon Facilitator

2024 State Participants

Photo of Rachel Glantzberg
Rachel Glantzberg
University Preference
Career GoalWomen's Health Advocate & Physician
TalentMusical Theatre
Photo of Shreya  Patankar
Shreya  Patankar
University Preference
Career GoalBusiness Management
Photo of Ammy Peralta
Ammy Peralta
University PreferenceJohns Hopkins University
Career GoalSurgeon
Photo of Keira Sohosky
Keira Sohosky
University Preference
Career GoalMusic Therapist
TalentFlute Performance
Photo of Elise Tao
Elise Tao
CityUpper Saddle River
University PreferenceHarvard University
Career GoalMedia Company Ceo
TalentSpoken Word
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