New Castle News


June 18, 2014

National title? Neshannock grad hopes to become America’s Distinguished Young Woman

NEW CASTLE — New Castle will be represented next week in the 57th Distinguished Young Women National Finals.

Miranda Nichols, who last year was crowned 2014 Lawrence County and Pennsylvania Distinguished Young Woman, left Sunday for Mobile, Ala., where a national winner will be determined June 26-28 at the Mobile Civic Center. The competition will be available for viewing via a live webcast.

Miranda is one of 50 state representatives competing for a share of more than $150,000 in cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2014.

Following her selection as the Distinguished Young Woman of Pennsylvania, Miranda began preparations for the national finals competition, which will include five categories of evaluation: scholastics (20 percent), interview (25 percent), fitness (15 percent), talent (25 percent) and self-expression (15 percent).

During her two weeks in Mobile, Miranda will participate in team building activities, complete community service projects, interact with the Gulf Coast community through various events and engage in many hours of rehearsal in preparation for the three-night scholarship competition.

“We are delighted to have 50 of the best young women that America has to offer to come to our city to participate in the 57th National Finals,” said Pam Patterson, interim executive director for Distinguished Young Women. “Mobile always opens its arms and welcomes these young ladies into their hearts and their homes.

“Sunday will be a great day as we meet these gifted individuals and begin our journey toward selecting the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2014.”

If selected as the program’s overall winner, Miranda will spend the next year representing Distinguished Young Women across the country through various appearances and promoting the program’s national outreach initiative of “Be Your Best Self.” The outreach program is designed to combat major issues facing children today including childhood obesity and high school drop out rates, as well as encourage young people to take an active interest in their communities through service. The outreach program consists of five elements - Be Healthy, Be Involved, Be Studious, Be Ambitious and Be Responsible.

Miranda is a 2014 graduate of Neshannock High School and the daughter of Mindy and Randy Nichols.

To view the live webcast of the Distinguished Young Women National Finals, visit at 8 p.m. June 28. To see photos of participants during their time in Mobile, visit

Founded in 1958 in Mobile, Distinguished Young Women is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. During its 57 years of operation, the program has provided life-changing experiences for more than 730,000 young women. Last year, Distinguished Young Women provided more than $367 million in cash and college scholarship opportunities to program participants at the local, state and national level. Previously known as America’s Junior Miss, the program announced its new name in June 2010.


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