Montgomery Catholic senior Allie Berg recently finished as a top ten finalist in Montgomery’s Distinguished Young Women scholarship program. Distinguished Young Women (DYW) is a nationwide non-profit scholarship program for high school senior girls with local/regional competitions. The girls become eligible in the summer preceding their senior year. The program offers scholarship money and provides the girls with the necessary skills for college: public speaking, interviewing, and self-confidence.
To become a finalist, Berg had to compete in five different categories: talent, fitness, self-expression, interview, and scholarship. Allie felt both excited and prepared for the categories of fitness and ta
lent. The fitness category entails a routine in which the girls demonstrate their athletic ability by performing multiple physical components. She described this as being her favorite category because she enjoyed learning the routine with the other girls. For her talent portion, Berg performed a dance routine. Having danced from a young age, she stood out amongst her competitors. She explained that the participants practiced three hours a week and put in two additional hours of practice outside of that time to perfect her routines.
Allie explained that she first advanced past the preliminary round, which consisted of two shows in one day in the above categories. This round also included the interview portion in which the judges could hone in on who they thought should advance. After these rounds, the judges selected 10 participants to advance to the final round. For the final round, contestants repeated each category of the competition, and the judges decided the top three participants. Berg credits her place in the final round to skills she has gained from Montgomery Catholic. Allie explains that public speaking skills learned from the MCPS debate team and Youth in Government events strongly influenced the competition’s self-expression portion. She also explained that the ethics and morals Montgomery Catholic instilled in her were helpful during her interview portion.
Berg was thankful for the opportunity and enjoyed meeting other girls from around the Montgomery area. She felt it was a great way to challenge herself and step outside of her comfort zone. Distinguished Young Women provides unique opportunities for young women to capitalize on essential capabilities and gain leadership skills that will help them in the future. Berg would recommend the event to any girl her age!
Founded in 1873, Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School is an integral part of the Catholic Church’s mission to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. As an adult community, we share the responsibility to prepare students for college and beyond while helping them grow to become persons of faith, virtue, and wisdom.