83°F
weather icon Clear

Henderson teen takes national Distinguished Young Women stage

Stephanie Castrignano, 17, has the opportunity this month to win thousands of dollars in cash scholarships to help make her college dreams a reality.

“The part that sticks out to me about Distinguished Young Women is that they support well-rounded young women,” said Castrignano, of Henderson, who graduated last month from Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. “All women are good at multiple things, and being well-rounded is a critical aspect of life.”

Distinguished Young Women, known as America’s Junior Miss until 2010, was founded in 1958 as a way to reward young women who have graduated high school and seek to continue their education. The organization started small, in Mobile, Alabama, and soon had applicants from all over the country.

Distinguished Young Women has had over 770,000 young women participate in its competitions at local, state and national levels, according to its website. More than $108 million in cash scholarships have been awarded, the site states.

Castrignano found out about the program through a school counselor.

After winning the statewide competition March 2 at the Sun City MacDonald Ranch Community Center, Castrignano received $1,000 from the organization and will get $13,000 in scholarships every year, for four years, at Arizona State University. Castrignano was up against eight others at the state competition. 

At Arizona State, Castrignano plans to double major in dance and business communications, then pursue a career as a dance and business professional.

Castrignano said she has been in the studio practicing her dance routine for her talent portion of the Mobile competition; she has been getting coaching on interview skills and practicing fitness routines. Castrignano will compete against women from 49 other states.

“I am a little bit nervous because I know all of the other women are so talented, everyone is intelligent, but it is an amazing opportunity to have, and I am ready to create relationships with the other young women,” Castrignano said.

There are five judges.

Cindy Blatchford, state chairwoman for Distinguished Young Women, said her daughter, Taylor Blatchford, won the Nevada competition in 2018 and was granted scholarships that paid her full tuition to the University of Alabama. Cindy Blatchford added that the scholarships really took a burden off her family’s shoulders.

“It is little-known in Nevada, but I am participating as the state chair because I am giving back to the community that gave my family so much in scholarship money,” she said.

Contact Rachel Spacek at 702-387-2921 or rspacek@reviewjournal.com. Follow @RachelSpacek on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Local Videos
Henderson Fire Department on checking back seats in the heat - Video
The Henderson Fire Department talks about double-checking car seats in the Las Vegas heat to remember children who may be in the car. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Back to school fair draws students, parents to Henderson mall

Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara was among those on hand at the event, which is designed to help parents and students get ready for the new school year. CCSD students go back to school on Aug. 12.

 
Henderson Hospital staff, patients reunited

Henderson Hospital celebrated its first anniversary by inviting all former neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients and their families to reunite.

Henderson among best places to retire for great weather

GOBankingRates determined the best places to retire with great weather by examining such things as home prices, average temperature and crime rate.

 
Henderson campaign highlight dangers of leaving kids in cars

Temperatures inside a car can reach 30 to 40 degrees above the outside temperatures, which poses a severe risk of heatstroke for children left inside cars, Henderson fire officials said.