Markun set to compete at nationals

Staff Writer
Woodford Times
Markun gets ready for her talent presentation.

Julia Markun of Metamora will travel to Mobile, Ala., on Sunday to participate in the 55th Distinguished Young Women National Finals to be held June 28, 29 and 30 at the Mobile Civic Center Theater.

Markun is one of 50 state representatives competing for a share of around $130,000 in cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2012.

Following her selection as the Distinguished Young Woman of Illinois, Markun began preparations for the National Finals competition, which will include five categories of evaluation: scholastics (20 percent), interview (25 percent), fitness (15 percent), talent (25 percent) and self-expression (15 percent).

During her two weeks in Mobile, Markun will participate in team building activities, complete community service projects, interact with the Gulf Coast community through various events and engage in many hours of rehearsal in preparation for the three night scholarship competition.

  “The mission of Distinguished Young Women is to provide a life-enhancing experience for our participants that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments,” said Becky Jo Peterson, executive director of Distinguished Young Women.

If selected as the program’s overall winner, Markun will spend the next year representing Distinguished Young Women across the country through various appearances and promoting the program’s national outreach initiative of “Be Your Best Self.” The outreach program is designed to encourage young people to lead successful and productive lives by committing to live by five principles – Be Healthy, Be Involved, Be Studious, Be Ambitious and Be Responsible.

To view the live webcast of the Distinguished Young Women National Finals, visit at 7 p.m. June 30. To see photos of participants during their time in Mobile, visit