- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Anna Kathryn Daniels of Madison County was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi for 2016 during the recent state program.

The Madison Ridgeland Academy student was chosen the overall from a field of 34 high school girls from across the state. Daniels plans to pursue a career in law at the University of Mississippi. She is the daughter of Steve and Dana Daniels.

Alternates were: First — Natalie Marguerite Newton, East Jackson County, daughter of David and Amanda Newton; Second — Sadie Shaunak Henderson, Forrest County, daughter of Randy and Anita Henderson; and Third — Miriam Grace Seale, Neshoba County, daughter of Steve and Tina Seale.

Rounding out the Top 10 were: Emily Grace Box, Hinds County, daughter of Sharon and John David Box; Evelyn Claire McIntyre, Lowndes County, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Mike McIntyre; Avery Jane Watson, Meridian, daughter of Dr. James and Mrs. Lisa Watson; Zoie Isabelle Mestayer, Pascagoula, daughter of Roland and Suzie Mestayer; Caroline Elizabeth Glaze, Lamar County, daughter of Tim and Laurie Glaze; and Sally Reid Boswell, West Jackson County, daughter of Todd and Robin Boswell.

Overall preliminary winners were: Scholastic Award and Self-Expression Award — Sally Reid Boswell, West Jackson County; Talent Award and Be Your Best Self Essay Award — Natalie Marguerite Newton, East Jackson County; Fitness Award — Miriam Grace Seale, Neshoba County; and Spirit Award — Genesis Alexandria Johnson, Clinton, daughter of Jonathan Johnson.

The contestants arrived in Meridian July 19 for orientation and to meet their Host Families for the week — which, in addition to the three nights of competition, included fast-paced rehearsals and other events — a theme party, local appearances, a Judges’ Party and interviews.

The Temple Theater was the setting for the three nights of competition, which began Thursday and culminated Saturday. Contestants in the state program are evaluated by a judges panel using the same criteria as the national program: scholastics (25 percent of overall score), interview (25 percent of overall score), talent (20 percent of overall score), fitness (15 percent of overall score) and self-expression 15 percent of overall score). This is the same criteria used in local and national Distinguished Young Women programs.

Daniels will advance to the National Finals in Mobile next year, where she will spend two weeks getting to know outstanding girls from across the country, engaging in community service and team development activities, and preparing for the National Finals competition.

All state representatives will compete for a share of more than $130,000 in cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the national program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America.

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(c)2015 The Meridian Star (Meridian, Miss.)

Visit The Meridian Star (Meridian, Miss.) at meridianstar.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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