Distinguished Young Women compete Jan. 16


Sydney Gabrysiak

Left to right: Steph Jarecki (’17) and Caitlin Locante (’17) pose during the physical portion of the competition.

The Elmbrook Distinguished Young Women program was held Jan 16 at Wisconsin Hills Middle School, where 11 juniors from Brookfield Central, Brookfield East, and DSHA showcased their poise, talent, fitness, and leadership. A total of seven girls competed for the title of Distinguished Young Woman of Brookfield, including Steph Jarecki (’17), Kirsten Jorgensen (’17), Katie Dobrzynski (’17), and Caitlin Locante (’17). Alexa Keane (’17) competed at-large. The competition of Distinguished Young Women of Elm Grove had three participants and was held simultaneously with the Brookfield program.

“DYW is a scholarship program for girls in their junior year of high school. It’s comprised of 5 categories: Scholastics, Interview, Self-Expression, Fitness, and Talent,” said Emma Kumer (’16), the Distinguished Young Woman of Brookfield for 2016.  “The motto is “be your best self” and I think, if asked what DYW was about, most of the girls would agree that this accurately sums up the mission.”

Each participant’s scholastics were reviewed by a special set of judges off campus based on GPA and standardized test scores. Michelle Lazar (BE) won the overall scholastics award, with Brooke McArdle (DSHA) and Jarecki named as alternates. The interview portion of the competition was held throughout the day on Saturday, where each participant was asked a set of questions individually. The questions typically pertained to feminism, education, the environment, and personal interests. The overall winner of the interviews was McArdle and alternates were Lazar and Jorgensen. McArdle also won the talent portion of the competition with her violin solo and Lazar won one alternate title with an acapella vocal performance. Locante also won an alternate title in the talent competition with her impressive gymnastics routine, a crowd-favorite. Locante won the fitness competition as well, with McArdle and Jarecki as alternates. The program was concluded with the Self-Expression category, and the overall winner was Lazar with alternates awards going to McArdle and Jorgensen. In addition, Dobrzynski, Jarecki, and McArdle earned recognition for being top fundraisers. Overall, McArdle was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Brookfield for 2017, and Darby McManus (BE) was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Elm Grove for 2017.