Indian American Students to Compete in National' Distinguished Young Women of America 2022' Competition
Distinguished Young Women is a platform that combines the chance to win college scholarships with a program that offers life skills training to prepare young women for the world after high school.
FREMONT, CA: Sharanya Swaminathan of Michigan and Keerthana Ramanathan of Minnesota, both talented Indian American students, will represent their states in the ‘2022 Distinguished Young Women of America’ competition.
Distinguished Young Women is a platform that combines the opportunity to win college scholarships with a program that teaches young women life skills to prepare them for life after high school. The program is held in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., with some states having their local programs. However, only ten states have declared their representatives so far.
Over $1 billion in scholarships are awarded to young students each year. Scholastics (25 percent); interview (25 percent); talent (20 percent); fitness (15 percent); and self-expression (15 percent) are the categories in which participants are evaluated in each Distinguished Young Women program (15 percent).
Swaminathan, who lives in Troy, plans to attend the University of Michigan and study business administration and public policy. She performed a dance during the talent show. Ramanathan of Eden Prairie wants to be a surgical oncologist and aims to attend Northwestern University. In the talent section, she performed Alarippu (traditional), a classical Indian dance.
Nearly a half-dozen Indian American students have competed in the national finals in recent years. Sanya Surya of Oregon won $1,000 in the interview and self-expression categories in 2021. Maya Shah of Clive, Iowa, and Brianna Patel of Novi, Michigan, respectively, represented their states in 2019. In addition, Neerja Patel of Vermont was named a Distinguished Young Woman of Vermont in 2015; Indian American Sruthi Palaniappan of Cedar Rapids, Iowa was named a Distinguished Young Woman of Iowa in 2016, and Neha Arora of Madison, Mississippi was named a Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi in 2017.