Participants

Distinguished Young Women participants come from all walks of life, but they have one common characteristic: the desire to succeed. Each young woman receives valuable life experience through participation in the program including relationship skills, self-confidence, and a sense of achievement. The goal of Distinguished Young Women is to ensure that everyone who participates in the program at any level has an enjoyable and memorable experience.

While we await the first of the participants, below is a list of last year's participants for Distinguished Young Women of South Carolina. Want to participate? Apply now!



Mia Hunter

Distinguished Young Woman of Abbeville County

Parents: Franklin & Kimberly Jones
College Preference: Art Institute of Charlotte
Career Goals: Translator, Personal Chef
Talent: Piano Solo (Thousand Miles, by Vanessa Carlton)


Shannan Goodwin

Distinguished Young Woman of Blacksburg

Parents: Shannon Goodwin & Lavette King
College Preference: Winthrop University
Career Goals: Elementary Education Teacher
Talent: Tap Dance ("Tightrope", by Janelle Monae)


Georgia Hunt

Distinguished Young Woman of East Charleston

Parents: William & Marilou Hunt
College Preference: USC Columbia, Clemson, NYU, UNC Chapel Hill
Career Goals: Communications, Speech Therapy
Talent: Vocal Presentation (Show Tune) (Think of Me, from Phantom of the Opera, by Andrew Lloyd Webber )


Margaret Baker

Distinguished Young Woman of East Lexington

Parents: Mark & Lisa Baker
College Preference: Coker College
Career Goals: Dance Therapist / Physical Therapist
Talent: Contemporary Dance (Medicine, by Daughter)


Elena Manalich

Distinguished Young Woman of Greenwood City

Parents: Carlos & Peggy Manalich
College Preference: Clemson University
Career Goals: general internist
Talent: Piano Solo (Waltz in C Sharp Minor, by Chopin)


Elizabeth Hollingsworth

Distinguished Young Woman of Greenwood County

Parents: Jonathan Hollingsworth & Lynn Hemphill
College Preference: Clemson University, Furman University
Career Goals: Physical Therapy
Talent: Tap Dance (James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing", by Lauren Cabaniss)


Katherine Zeller

Distinguished Young Woman of North Aiken County

Parents: Joey & Sandy Zeller
College Preference: Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Career Goals: Aerospace Engineer and Astrophysicist
Talent: Vocal Presentation (Think of Me, by Andrew Lloyd Webber from Phantom of the Opera)


Taylor Branham

Distinguished Young Woman of North Dorchester

Parents: Michael & Kimberle Branham
College Preference: USC, Clemson, CofC, or Appalachian State
Career Goals: Physical Therapist
Talent: Lyrical Dance


Bailey Pedersen

Distinguished Young Woman of North Edgefield

Parents: Joel & Lisa Pedersen
College Preference: University of Tennessee
Career Goals: Greenhouse Industry Owner and Operator
Talent: Piano Solo (Bearcat Boogie, by Faber)


Sydney Crosby

Distinguished Young Woman of North Lexington

Parents: Wayne Crosby, Jr. & Susan Steele
College Preference: USC, NYU, Furman
Career Goals: Corporate Lawyer
Talent: Vocal Presentation (show tune) (Let Me Be Your Star, SMASH, by Composer - Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman)


Savannah Shope

Distinguished Young Woman of Oconee County

Parents: Dana & Tessa Shope
College Preference: Clemson University
Career Goals: Pediatric Physicians Assistant
Talent: Lyrical Dance (Try, by Colbie Collait)


Aslyn Romeo

Distinguished Young Woman of South Aiken County

Parents: Paul Romeo Jr. & Joy Romeo
College Preference: Trevecca Nazarene University
Career Goals: Religious Studies, Early Childhood Education
Talent: Vocal Solo (How Great Thou Art, by Carrie Underwood)


Tara Moore

Distinguished Young Woman of South Carolina

Parents: Robert & Patricia Moore
College Preference: Clemson University
Career Goals: Pediatrician
Talent: Jazz Dance (Get On Your Feet, by Gloria Estefan)


Abigail Reeves

Distinguished Young Woman of South Charleston

Parents: Richard & Amy Alderman
College Preference: Columbia University, Furman, Wofford, Winthrop
Career Goals: Pediatric Oncology, High School Biology Teacher
Talent: Tap Dance ("Bugle Call Rag", by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra)


Caroline McWhorter

Distinguished Young Woman of South Dorchester

Parents: Jeff & Erin McWhorter
College Preference: Wofford, USC Honors College, Duke, UNC Chapel Hill
Career Goals: Pediatric Oncologist
Talent: Contemporary, Acroabtic Dance (For You I Will, by Drehz)


Morgan Swearingen

Distinguished Young Woman of South Edgefield

Parents: Hugh Swearingen & Morri Kernaghan
College Preference: Anderson University or Lander University
Career Goals: Middle/Secondary Education- History and English
Talent: Charleston Dance (Great Gatsby Remix- Self Mixed Audio, by Self Choreographed)


Ashley Nienhius

Distinguished Young Woman of South Lexington

Parents: Nathan & Michelle Nienhius
College Preference: Furman University, College of Charleston, Duke
Career Goals: Pediatrician
Talent: Tap Dance (Gimme That Bass (Ciara), by choreographed by Katelan Kranz)


Maddie Steen

Distinguished Young Woman of West Charleston

Parents: William & Denyse Steen
College Preference: College of Charleston, Pratt Institute, SCAD
Career Goals: Translator/Interpreter or Nutritionist
Talent: Vocal Presentation (guitar accompaniment) (Blank Space, by Taylor Swift)


Rachel Barber

Distinguished Young Woman of West Lexington

Parents: Kevin & Leah Barber
College Preference: Appalachian State University
Career Goals: Music Therapy
Talent: Vocal Presentation (opera) (O Mio Babbino Caro, by Giacomo Puccini)