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Four juniors vie for ‘Distinguished Young Woman’ honor

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(L-R) Marissa Kennedy, Mackenzie Kennedy, Faith Uhlenkott and Madison Ulmer are all running for Distinguished Young Woman of the Camas Prairie.

Contributed photos (L-R) Marissa Kennedy, Mackenzie Kennedy, Faith Uhlenkott and Madison Ulmer are all running for Distinguished Young Woman of the Camas Prairie.

— Four local juniors in high school will vie for the title of Distinguished Young Woman of the Camas Prairie this Saturday. The program is set to take place June 11, 7 p.m., at Grangeville High School.

GHS students Marissa Kennedy and McKenzie Kennedy and Prairie Junior Senior High School students Faith Uhlenott and Madison Ulmer will all compete for a variety of scholarships including scholastic, talent, self-expression and physical fitness.

Marissa Joy Kennedy is the daughter of John and Bobbie Kennedy of Grangeville.

She has been involved in a variety of activities including as attorney general and appellate judge at Idaho Youth Legislature, as class vice president and treasurer, All Northwest Choir, All State Choir, two-time state solo and ensemble finalist, Varsity Blue Honors Choir, high school theatre, soccer, track, cheerleading, church and Girls State.

Her talent will be the vocal “My Man” by Barbra Streisand from the Broadway musical and film, “Funny Girl.”

“My family has been involved in the Distinguished Young Woman program since my youth. I’ve grown up with and have fallen in love with this program, and what it stands for, throughout the years,” she said. “I am so excited to have my turn to participate, and it is my absolute pleasure to do so alongside the amazing young women I’ve met through this program.”

“Through the program I hope to make friends, be involved in the community, make a difference, possibly earn scholarships, and shine the light of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” she said. “Distinguished Young Woman is more than a program, it is the opportunity to enter into a family and make amazing memories.”

McKenzie Kennedy is the daughter of Mike and Tonya Kennedy of Winona. She attends Grangeville High School where she has participated in basketball, volleyball and tennis as well as FCCLA, Youth Legislature and Student Council. She attends church youth group and is a member of the National Honor Society. She was recently awarded the Interscholastic Star Award for 2016.

For her talent, she will recite and perform “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson.

“I decided to participate in the Distinguished Young Women program because of the opportunities it provides,” she said. “By participating, I am stepping out of my comfort zone to dance, perform, and meet new people.”

She said the experience of participating in the program will “benefit me throughout my life as it puts me in new scenarios where I learn how to react,” she explained. “I also joined to support the program. Since DYW is newer on the Camas Prairie it is sometimes challenging to get a lot of girls involved. I wanted to help grow the program and raise more awareness of what DYW is. The only way I knew how to do that was by joining. By joining DYW I have already learned so much and met many new people.”

Faith Grace Uhlenkott is the daughter of Ryan and Heather Uhlenkott of Cottonwood.

She is president of Prairie League at her school, is the spirit leader, and the representative for the class of 2017. She is also involved in drug free group, youth group, and plays varsity fastpitch softball. She received an honorable mention for the U of I art exhibit “I am me,” and was the Voice of Democracy VFW essay community winner and district runner-up.

Her talent will be reciting a poem by Maya Angelou entitled “Phenomenal Woman.”

“I decided to enroll in this program because I love doing programs like this that empower women and encourage individuality,” she said. “I am always looking for different activities to be involved in and I love meeting new people. This program was a perfect fit for me.”

Madison Ulmer is the daughter of Doug and Tina Ulmer of Kamiah.

At Prairie, she has been involved in cross-country and track, received a HOSA state second place in healthy lifestyle, was the student booster of the year, served as president of HOSA, was vice president of the drug free club as well as vice president of her class, was ASB Spirit leader and Idaho County Fair Royalty.

Her talent will be a cheer routine to “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift.

“I thought the Distinguished Young Women program looked like a lot of fun to be a part of, and it’s a great scholarship opportunity,” she said. “I hope to gain a few scholarships and make a few new friends in the process — which I already have.”

Cost to get into the DYW event is $8 for adults and $6 for students.


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