Distinguished Young Women

Event details

  • April 9, 2022
  • 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • North Middle School Auditorium N88 W16750 Garfield Dr. Menomonee Falls WI 53051

Class of 2022 participants above:  Katelyn Amen, Morgan Becker, Siya Mahajan, Paige Lillegard, and Kylie Kenny. Photo courtesy of Cline Design Photography


The 58th Annual Distinguished Young Women of Menomonee Falls Scholarship Program is set for Saturday, April 9, 2022. Participants from the Class of 2023 will compete for the title of Distinguished Young Woman in a full, in-person showcase at North Middle School. The program is open to all junior girls who live in Menomonee Falls. Sign up for participants runs through January 30.

I am in need of volunteers to put this program together. My greatest need is for a Judge’s Chairperson. This job involves recruiting the 5 program judges, overseeing interviews with the participants, and staying with judges during the program and through deliberation process. Training is available and there is a list of potential judges in the metro area who would love to help. It is a big job but also fantastic opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these high school girls.

Seeking Judges Chairperson: Secure 5 judges for the program on Saturday, April 9, 2022;
conduct participant interviews, and lead the final deliberation to select the next DYW of Menomonee Falls.
Contact Cathy Sharkey  262-844-1538

I will have more information on other volunteer positions next month once the participants are set. Thank you in advance for supporting this amazing program!

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Distinguished Young Women of Wisconsin has a new state chairperson. Meg Sranske is enthusiastically planning for the Wisconsin program for July 30, 2022. A huge part of her job is fundraising to provide scholarships for the participants for the Class if 2023. Meg is currently running a giving campaign to raise this money.

Perhaps you had a daughter who has benefited from this program and you would like to see other young women benefit from the experience. You might consider making a donation to the state program. Below is Meg’s request from the state’s Facebook page. Please see Cathy Sharkey if you have any questions.

‘Tis the season of GIFT giving! Give the gift of a donation to support the scholarship fund of the Distinguished Young Women of Wisconsin Class of 2023 program. Your sponsorship will forever make a difference in a young woman’s life. Email wisconsin@distinguishedyw.org to find out how you can give this holiday season.

Distinguished Young Women of Wisconsin 2022 State Finals

High school girls from across Wisconsin will join together for the Wisconsin Class of 2022 State Finals to be held on Saturday, August 14th, 2021 at 7:00 pm. and streamed virtually. Participants will compete for cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the State as the Distinguished Young Woman of Wisconsin at the National Finals in Mobile, Alabama June 23, 24 and 25, 2022. The 2022 Wisconsin State representative, along with 49 other high school winners, will seek the opportunity to acquire some of the $125,000 in cash scholarships and hundreds of thousands of dollars of college granted scholarships at the National Finals Program.

Siya Mahajan, Menomonee Falls High School incoming Senior will participate at the Class of 2022 Distinguished Young Woman State Finals Program seeking out cash and college granted scholarships. She is the daughter of Nidhi and Abhay Mahajan. Siyas’ interests, honors and awards are: Piano, HOSA, FBLA, Student Council, Bharatnatyam/Indian Classical Dance, Debate, Speech, Math Club, Spanish Honor Society, Make A Wish Awareness Week and Tutoring.

The Optimist Club, sponsor of the Menomonee Falls program, wishes Siya the best of luck at the competition!


57th Annual Distinguished Young Women Program

Five Menomonee Falls High School Juniors participated in the virtual 57th Annual Distinguished Young Women Program May 1, 2021. It may not have been the full, live showcase we have had in the past but we were able to put together a very nice two-day filming event that came close to the feel of the regular show. Participants from the Class of 2022 were Katelyn Amen, Morgan Becker, Kylie Kenny, Paige Lillegard, and Siya Mahajan.

On Wednesday, April 28 Falls Cable Access recorded the first half of the program which started with a welcome speech by President Rick Kohl. We then recorded competition categories of Self Expression, Talent, and Fitness. That video was sent to Judges’ Chairperson, Lynette Shepherd, for the judges to view after the interviews were conducted on Saturday, May 1. That evening we returned to the High School where participants and their families were able to view the video. We then recorded the final awards ceremony.

Siya Mahajan was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls for 2022. She received a $2500 scholarship from the Optimist Club and will represent Menomonee Falls at the Wisconsin State Program to be held in Franklin, WI this summer. Siya is the daughter of Abhay and Nidhi Mahajan. Siya also won preliminary awards in Scholastics and Self Expression and was the winner of the Be Your Best Self Essay contest.

Morgan Becker was named 1st Alternate. Morgan will receive a $1000 scholarship from the Optimist Club and $300 cash award from Community League of Menomonee Falls. Morgan was also the winner of the Talent Award. Paige Lillegard was named 2nd Alternate. She will receive a $500 scholarship from the Optimist Club.

Kylie Kenny was awarded the Spirit and Interview Awards. Katelyn Amen won the Fitness Award. Each category winner will receive a $100 cash award.

Kylie Kenny Paige Lillegard Morgan Becker Sija Mahajan Veronica Goveas Katelyn Amen

2021 Distinguished Young Woman, Veronica Goveas, gave her farewell address as the Menomonee Falls representative. Veronica’s DYW journey continues as she will represent WI at the National Finals on June 24-26. Watch for more information on how you can follow Veronica on YouTube.

Our program is so successful because of the great team I have working with me. Ali Leon did the fitness choreography, emceed the program and is a contact at school for the girls. Jenn DedrickWendySue Fluegge, and Jerry Mislang were practice interview judges. Jeanine Dederich helped coordinate the Be Your Best Self Essay. Keri and Ryan Duce judged the essays. Rema Kunath was the Scholastic Judge Chairperson. Kathryn Hoff (former club member) was the Scholastic Judge. Lynette Shepherd was the Program Judges’ Chairperson. Kim Wenzel was our tabulator.

Danny Shepherd provided the sound for the program. Chris Forston and his team at Falls Cable recorded and edited the program.

The School District of Menomonee Falls and Jason Huesslein and his staff at Community Education Recreation were so helpful with facility reservations. Special thanks to Auditorium Manager David Mahlum for assisting in so many ways to make our program a success.

And finally, our program is so blessed to have photographer Jon Cline photographing the two nights of the program. Thank you doesn’t seem adequate to express our gratitude.

It is our goal to return to a live program again next year.


Veronica Goveas Competes at Distinguished Young Women of America 2021

Veronica’s Distinguished Young Women journey, which began on February 22, 2020, came to an exciting close Saturday, June 26, 2021, when she was named as a one of the top 8 finalists at the national program “held” in Mobile, AL. The fifty state participants competed in the virtual program which culminated in the live-streamed broadcast hosted by 2020 DYW of America, Elif Ozyurekoglu. Destiny Kluck from Georgia was named the DYW for America for 2021.

In addition to a $5000 scholarship Veronica was awarded as a finalist, she won preliminary award in Scholastics and Interview. Each preliminary award winner receives $1000. Veronica earned $7000 at nationals and a total of $11,000 for all three levels of DYW.

Veronica is the first Menomonee Falls participant to go to nationals in 33 years. She was an outstanding representative for this community and our state. Veronica will be attending the University of WI-Madison in the fall and plans to become a physician-researcher. She will be at the July 28 club meeting to share more about her experiences at the national program.





The mission of Distinguished Young Women is to positively impact the lives of young women by providing a transformative experience that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership and talent. For more information about Distinguished Young Women contact Cathy Sharkey at 262-844-1538 or visit www.DistinguishedYW.org.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube: www.facebook.com/distinguishedyw


Distinguished Young Women National Site

Distinguished Young Women local site (Menomonee Falls)

Distinguished Young Women Chair: Cathy Sharkey

Distinguished Young Women Co-chair: Meg Latus