Holly Berry (12, YPAS) recently represented Louisville in the Distinguished Young Women of Kentucky competition, winning preliminary honors in talent and overall fitness, earning $1,600 in scholarship money and placing in the top 12 overall.
Distinguished Young Women has been providing funds for higher education since 1958, making it the oldest scholarship organization specifically for high school girls. As part of the competition, candidates were required to live with host families in Lexington, Ky. for one week.
“I stayed with a family called the Roth family with one other girl,” Berry said. “I slept in their house, and the family fed me breakfast and drove me to all the rehearsals and shows.”
During the competition, participants were judged on five categories: scholastics, talent, interview, fitness and self-expression.
“I had to do a mock interview to prepare and study up on current events. For my talent and fitness, I have dance classes and a body conditioning class, so I prepared for those categories every day,” Berry said. “The scholastic category kind of just depended on how well my grades and ACT score were. To be honest, I didn’t really practice for self-expression because I hate public speaking.”
For Berry’s talent evaluation, she performed a routine to the song “Hallelujah.” To prepare, she attended rehearsal from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. Performances were held on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the competition week.
“My dance was a solo I choreographed, and I had an eight minute fitness routine, plus an opening number and a middle number,” Berry said.