Described as an “outreach program,” which is also fitting for this character-development experience, the Distinguished Young Woman competition was hosted in the beautiful new First Baptist Church of Cleveland.
We congratulate Ariana Sabre Kim, a Cleveland High School junior, who emerged as the 2012 winner. As important are those who finished just behind the eventual winner. They are Bella White, first runner-up, and Jami Gibson, second runner-up.
Kim is the daughter of Ramona and Kile Kim.
White, also a student at Cleveland High School, is the daughter of Gregory and Patricia White. Her performance of a lyrical ballet on pointe — “Beautiful,” by Bethany Dillon, was a crowd pleaser. The young Cleveland High student plans to attend either Vanderbilt, Duke or Emory University.
Gibson, a student at Walker Valley High School and the daughter of Jim and Mary Beth Gibson, was considered a standout in her piano performance of “Lotus Land” by Cyril Scott. She plans to attend Cleveland State Community College and eventually culinary school. She wants to own her own bakery.
Alongside her selection as Distinguished Young Woman, Kim also was the Overall Scholastic Winner and she received Honorable Mention in the Talent Category with her piano performance of “Butterflies and Hurricanes” by Matthew Bellamy.
As winner of the Cleveland competition, Kim will now advance to the Distinguished Young Women of Tennessee program which again will be held in Cleveland in July. The event will take place in Lee University’s beautiful Dixon Center, a setting that has hosted other such community-friendly and youth-supportive programming.
We can think of no better setting, just as we can imagine no finer city to host this outreach program than our own Cleveland hometown.
Winner of the state program this July will move on to the Distinguished Young Women of America Program in Mobile, Ala., in June 2012.
Last Saturday’s program was a full evening of family-friendly entertainment that showcased the individual talents of these marvelous young ladies. For those unable to attend, the contestants were judged on talent, fitness and self-expression combined with a judges’ interview and scholastic evaluation. The interview and evaluation were completed prior to Saturday’s final events.
Yet another highlight of the splendid evening was special entertainment provided by Devon Vaughn, Cleveland’s Junior Miss 2011, and Katye Brock, Tennessee’s Distinguished Young Woman 2011, as well as the crowd-pleasing “Escorts.” Program host duties were again a delight as provided by a popular community name and face, Bridget Baggett Forrester of Mix 104.1 FM.
Congratulations to all — on-stage and behind-the-scenes — who had a hand in bringing another special evening of entertainment to Cleveland and Bradley County.
Most of all, accolades to all 19 lovely contestants.
Three top finishers emerged.
All are winners.
This is the spirit of Distinguished Young Woman.
It is the very foundation that anchors this fine program.