Morning News â€“ Leslie Mielke
Miiko Toussaint of Blackfoot reacts to the announcement that she has been selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Idaho 2014 during Saturday's competition. She will represent Idaho in the national competition in June in Mobile, Ala.
Miiko Lyneâ€™ Toussaint, the Distinguished Young Woman of Blackfoot, won the state title Saturday night at the Civic Auditorium in Idaho Falls. She will represent Idaho at the national competition in June 2014 in Mobile, Ala.
Forty talented young ladies from across the state competed in fitness, talent, self-expression, scholastic, interview and Be Your Best Self.
Distinguished Young Women is a high school scholarship program. On Saturday night, scholarships totalling $25,000 were awarded.
For becoming DYW Idaho, Toussaint won a $5,000 scholarship.
She was also the overall winner in the following categories:
Fitness. She won a $400 scholarship.
Toussaint won $7,000 worth of scholarships Saturday night, plus a trip to Africa. She can also earn out-of-state scholarships.
The State Distinguished Young Womenâ€™s service project this year â€śDando Amor,â€ť the Shoes for Love project. DYW participants collected shoes that will be donated to people in Africa and Ecuador.
As the sponsor of this project, Travis Gugelman of Gugelman Photography in Rexburg gave a trip to Africa to the Distinguished Young Woman winner to see how the shoe project has impacted people on that continent. The trip is worth $2,600.
For her talent, Toussaint performed a character lyrical dance to â€śReflectionâ€ť from the Disney movie, â€śMulan.â€ť
In the self-expression portion of the competition, when asked what this generation can learn from past generations, Toussaint said, â€śPeople worked hard to build businesses, companies and communities. My generation can work hard to do the same thing.â€ť
Hailey Stone from Rigby was named First Alternate. She earned a $2,500 scholarship as first alternate, a $400 scholarship for talent, a $500 scholarship for interview and $500 scholarship for Be Your Best Self.
Amber Dopp, representing Bonneville County, was awarded a $1,500 scholarship as Second Alternate, a $300 scholarship for fitness, a $400 scholarship for talent and a $500 scholarship for interview.
Meghan Anderson from Mini-Cassia won the Spirit award. Votes of the participants themselves determine this winner. She was awarded a $600 scholarship.
The top 10 finalists were Toussaint, Stone, Dopp, Alyssa Hawkes from Ashton, Hannah Pratt from American Falls, Ashley Llewellyn from Sugar/Salem, Camry Jacobs from West Jefferson, Angela Huish from Madison, Sarah Hibbert from Pocatello/Chubbuck and Tiffany Harris from Bear Lake.
Other participants from Bingham County were Malia Saupan from Snake River, Shannon Christensen from Firth/Shelley and Aspen Poulson from Aberdeen.
Contestants are judged on scholastics, 20 percent; interview, 25 percent; talent, 25 percent; fitness, 15 percent; and self-expression, 15 percent.
The state completion lasts one week. All participants competed on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, the top 10 finalists presented fitness, talent and self-expression. The winner was determined by tabulating the points earned from her interview with the judges, and her performances on all three nights of competition.