Rebecca Shofner of Madison recently competed in Mississippi’s Distinguished Young Woman competition in Meridian.
Rebecca Shofner of Madison recently competed in Mississippi’s Distinguished Young Woman competition in Meridian.
Rising Madison Central senior, Rebecca Shofner competed for the state title of Mississippi's Distinguished Young Woman last week in Meridian and garnered top awards for her hard work. On Friday night, Shofner won one of the four scholastic preliminaries and a self-expression award for her poise and answer to an on-stage question. Saturday night she placed in the Top Ten, beating out 25 other contestants for the honor. The winner, Tanner Fant of Starkville, will compete for the national title next summer.

The daughter of Cathy and Bruce Shofner, Rebecca plans to attend the University of Alabama after graduation in 2015.

"Rebecca is an extraordinary young woman," says local director Beth Kellogg.

"She is 100 percent committed to every task she takes on and she is a wonderful role model for all of the young girls that she has mentored. We are so thrilled for her success at the state program."

A member of the Madison Central 30+ Club, Rebecca serves as the school's captain of the Reveille Show Choir, co-captain of the Mystix's dance team, and vice-president of the Interact Club.

She serves as a Junior Ambassador for the Madison the City Chamber of Commerce as well as a member of the mayor's youth council.

She has served her community as a volunteer for Second Saturday Missions, the Methodist Children's Home, Northtown Ready Reader Mentoring Project, and the Rising Stars Theater camp.

Founded in 1958 in Mobile, Ala., Distinguished Young Women is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. During its 56 years of operation, Distinguished Young Women (formerly America's Junior Miss) has provided life-changing experiences for more than 730,000 young women and more than $100 million in cash scholarships at the local, state, and national level.

In addition to cash scholarships, Distinguished Young Women participants are eligible for college-granted scholarships from almost 200 colleges and universities.

More than $365 million in college scholarship opportunities were provided last year, some of which included full tuition, room, and board to first-class institutions.

The mission of Distinguished Young Women is to inspire high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments by encouraging continued education and providing college scholarships; developing self-confidence and the abilities to interview effectively, speak in public, perform on stage and build interpersonal relationships; encouraging and showcasing excellence in academic achievement, physical fitness, on-stage performance skills, and the ability to think and communicate clearly; and creating opportunities to beneficially inspire the lives of others.

Next year's Madison County program will be held on Saturday, March 28.

High school junior girls who reside in Madison County are eligible. For more information and to sign up, go to and click on the box at the top "participate."