Conner Craft becomes the 2019 Distinguished Young Woman of Lenoir County
Conner Craft, The Distinguished Young Woman of Lenoir County, 2019
Updated Sunday, Oct. 14
On Saturday, Conner Craft became the 2019 Distinguished Young Woman of Lenoir County. She received a $3,500 scholarship and medallion, $500 clothing allowance for the state program, and a 16x20 portrait from Potter Photography.
First Runner-up Cailyn Kennedy received a $2,500 scholarship.
Second Runner-up Karmen Heath received a $1,500 scholarship.
The Spirit Award recipient was Conner Craft, who received a $500 scholarship presented by Jimmy and Daphne Pollock and plaque given by the Anne Hood Capps family.
The Be Your Best Self/Community Award recipients were Ashlyn Matos, Sydney Edwards, Leah Rigsby, Karmen Heath and Conner Craft, who received a $100 scholarship each.
The Preliminary Award Winners received $150 scholarships each:
Fitness - Karmen Heath and Ashlyn Matos
Talent - Cailyn Kennedy and Karmen Heath
Self-Expression - Conner Craft and Ashlyn Matos
Scholastic - Conner Craft and Sydney Edwards
Interview - Conner Craft and Leah Rigsby
Original story from Oct. 10
Distinguished Young Women of Lenoir County program scheduled for Saturday
The Distinguished Young Women of Lenoir County program proudly presents Anne-Wesley Taylor, Distinguished Young Woman of Lenoir County for 2018, in its annual program which will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, in the Performing Arts Center on the campus of Kinston High School. Taylor is currently a freshman at North Carolina State University and is the daughter of Daniel and Carlissa Taylor.
Brittany Harrison will emcee the program, “Under the Big Top” as the participants enjoy performing to a variety of circus melodies. Sponsored by the La Grange Rotary Club, the program is under the direction of Mia Heath, Mellany Davis and choreographer Jennifer Tyndall.
“Because of its high standards and numerous opportunities for high school seniors, the Distinguished Young Women Program is considered one of the nation’s major youth programs and has gained the approval of educators, parents, and civic leaders,” Heath said. “This program focuses on the achievements of youth.”
The local program is part of a nationwide effort to recognize, rewards, and encourage excellence and education among all young people. Seven senior girls representing Arendell Parrott Academy, South Lenoir High School and North Lenoir High School will compete for over $10,000 in scholarships and gifts. The scholarship money will help further their education and the gifts are donated by local merchants.
Participants in the 2019 program include:
Conner Craft, daughter of John and Tanya Craft, sponsored by NfinityLink Communications; Sydney Edwards, daughter of James and Meredith Edwards, sponsored by Kinston Tire and Auto; Olivia Kennedy, daughter of Billy and Carol Kennedy, sponsored by B&B Tobacco Movers; Karmen Heath, daughter of Stacy and Teresa Heath, sponsored by East Coast Power & Lighting; Leah Rigsby, daughter of Paul and Lesley RIgsby, sponsored by Dr. Rob McArthur; Cailyn Kennedy, daughter of Anthony and Barbara Kennedy, sponsored by 3HC Home Health and Hospice Care; Ashlyn Matos, daughter of Chris and Sandy Matos, sponsored by Carlyle Dental.
Since 1958, Distinguished Young Women has impacted the lives of more than 765,000 young women. Our mission is to empower high school young women by providing scholarship opportunities, developing self-confidence and teaching crucial life skills needed for success in college and beyond.
National sponsors include Mobile County, City of Mobile, Wintzell’s Oyster House, Alabama Power Foundation, Master Boat Builders, Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, Encore Rehabilitation, Evonik, Regions Financial Corporation, Jostens and Alabama Media group.
Last year, Distinguished Young Women provided more than $1.1 billion in cash and college scholarship opportunities to program participants at the local, state and national level. Previously known as America’s Junior Miss, the program announced its new name in June 2010.
The 2019 Distinguished Young Woman of Lenoir County will be selected by a panel of individuals representing a broad range of backgrounds and interests. Evaluation in the local program will be based on the following standards, which are also used on the state and national levels: interviews, 25%; scholastics, 25%; fitness, 15%; talent, 20%; and self-expression, 15%.
The 2019 Distinguished Young Woman of Lenoir County, along with other local winners from across the state, will compete in the state program January 25th and 26th in Greensboro. The state winner will then travel to Mobile, Alabama in June for the national finals. The 2019 National Finals will be held June 27, 28, and 29, 2019.
Numerous area businesses and individuals have contributed scholarship money to this program including: Dr. and Mrs. Kent Denton; Union Bank; Southern Bank of La Grange; Jimmy and Daphne Pollock; The Stephen Hill family; Ray and Marian Kennedy; Foss Recycling; Stacie and Frederick Smith; Woodmen of the World; David and Ginny Moody; Lenoir UNC Health Care; Allco Electric Inc.; La Grange Chamber of Commerce; Kenneth and Beverly Lafone; Food Lion; John and Sue Walmsley; and Holton and Mary Margaret Harrison; P&D Precast. Other businesses have generously supported the program with donations and by giving of their time. These businesses include: Potter Photography, the Kinston Daily Free Press, the Weekly Gazette, Neuse News, and the Anne Hood Capps family.
Tickets to the program may be purchased for $20 by contacting any participant or La Grange Rotarian. Tickets will also be available at the door.
For more information about Distinguished Young Women, contact Jessica Sawyer, National Headquarters Marketing and Communications Director, at 251-438-3621 or Jessica@DistinguishedYW.org or visit www.DistinguishedYW.org