Zoe Billedo of Ozark represented Missouri in the 62nd Distinguished Young Women National Finals. Billedo, along with 50 other state representatives, spent more than two weeks in Mobile, Alabama, preparing for and taking part in the national scholarship competition.
The program’s evaluation process includes scholastics, interviews, fitness, talent and self-expression. During the preliminary competitions, each participant competed in the categories of self-expression, fitness and talent. Billedo completed an individual interview with a panel of five judges, and her scholastic performance has been scored through an evaluation process of her high school academic record and standardized test scores.
For her talent presentation, Billedo performed a dance to “Still Feel.” Billedo is a 2019 graduate of Ozark High School and the daughter of Doniel Reiger and Nathan Billedo.
Eight finalists were selected from the group of 50 young women to compete for the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2019 and for a share of thousands of dollars in cash scholarships.
“The power of our youth is strong, and these 50 state representatives are the embodiment of that,” said Kendra Haskins, Executive Director of Distinguished Young Women. “Throughout their two weeks in Mobile, these young women have made an impact on the communities and people they have met. We are excited to highlight Distinguished Young Women this weekend by highlighting these participants and celebrating the thousands of others who have been impacted by this incredible program throughout the year.”
Founded in 1958, Distinguished Young Women is a free program that encourages participants to reach their full individual potential. Our mission is to empower young women by providing over $1 billion in scholarship opportunities, developing their self-confidence and participating in our Life Skills Workshops that prepare them for success after high school. National sponsors include Mobile County, the city of Mobile, Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, Alabama Power Foundation, Wintzell's Oyster House, Master Boat Builders, Encore Rehabilitation, Evonik, Regions Financial Corporation, Jostens and Alabama Media Group.
During her two weeks in Mobile, Billedo participated in team building activities and community service projects, and interacted with the Gulf Coast community through various events through many hours of rehearsal in preparation for the three-night scholarship competition.