This year, some junior gals will have the opportunity to participate in this year’s Miss Mattawa scholarship event. The event, formerly known as Junior Miss and Distinguished Young Woman is essentially the same, however it is no longer associated with any national scholarship foundation. All scholarships will be locally sponsored by local businesses and community members and be given to local students.
According to program director Tiffany Coulson, Mattawa has hosted a scholarship program for the past twenty years. She has been the director of the same program three different times although it had a different name.
Mattawa Junior Miss is geared towards college-bound girls who demonstrate excellence in five categories which are: 1. scholastic, 2. fitness, 3. professional interviews, 4, public interview and 5. talent.
“We started late in the year,” Coulson said. “We are hoping the winner not only represents the community, but we are also hoping to get more community support from ticket sales.”
Money from the tickets sold for the event will go to the college of choice for the winners to help with tuition and books. So far, five ambitious young ladies are already gearing up to put their best foot forward at the event and hope to dazzle the judges. Ashley Jenne, Adilene Sandoval, Liliana Lopez, Eunice Gonzalez and Sydney Zirker are the “fab five” who have signed up to participate so far.
“I would love to win the scholarship money,” said Gonzalez. “Then I wouldn’t have to ask for a grant. At this point, this will make colleges look at me more than others based on my participation in this event.”
Gonzalez hopes to get into the University of Washington and study to become a radiologist and a doctor. For her talent, she will play the viola.
Sydney Zirker has helped her mom, Sharee behind the scenes of the Distinguished Young Woman for the past ten years when Mrs. Zirker was program director.
“I would help mom out with the event,” Zirker added. “I would learn the fitness routine and fill in if anyone was gone. I would help with little things like decorating. I have been looking forward to it. Now that it is here and we are in practice it doesn’t feel real. It will feel real once it gets closer.”
Miss Zirker admits she has always had a passion for performing in front of people. She views this event as a step up from everything else she has done in the past. For her talent, she is working on learning a dance routine. She also has a backup plan, which is a theatrical piece.
“I really like the opportunity to grow and bond with other people and learn intellectually from others.”
Adilene Sandoval waited in the wings, as her cousins Elena Calderon, Veronica Quintero and sister Sonia Sandoval participated in past years. She was inspired by them, and she has wanted to be part of the program since she was small.
“I was a sophomore sister for one of the participants last year,” Sandoval said. “That got me even more excited about it.”
Miss Mattawa lights up the stage of the Wahluke Auditorium Saturday, March 10. Tickets cost $10 at the door and go towards the scholarships.
The Miss Mattawa program is also looking for more participants and volunteers. To participate in Miss Mattawa, you must be a single high school junior girl with at least a 2.8 GPA. Practices are after school. To participate or to donate money or time to the event, contact Tiffany Coulson at 509-830-5935. Preparations