Competition begins for Markun tomorrow

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

Tomorrow marks the start of competition for Julia Markun, the Metamora teen competing in the 55th Distinguished Young Women National Finals. Markun, along with 49 other state representatives, has been in Mobile, Ala. for the past two weeks participating in community activities and preparing for the national scholarship competition.

The program’s evaluation process includes scholastics (20 percent), interview (25 percent), fitness (15 percent), talent (25 percent) and self-expression (15%). During the preliminary competition tomorrow and Friday, each participant will compete in the categories of self-expression, fitness and talent. Markun has completed an individual interview with a panel of five judges and her scholastic performance has been scored through an evaluation process of her high school academic record and standardized test scores.

On Saturday, 10 finalists will be selected from the group of 50 young women and will compete for the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2012. In addition, the newly selected national representative will receive a substantial cash scholarship and a gold medallion.

"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. "The on-stage categories of fitness, self-expression, and talent show that these young women have made a commitment to be healthy, that they are able to express their thoughts and opinions in a cogent and effective way, and that they have an appreciation for the arts that they demonstrate through a performing talent."

For her talent presentation, Markun will perform a lyrical dance to Shake It Out choreographed by Devery McCoy.

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