Friday, February 03, 2023

‘Go for it’

Staff Writer | March 15, 2022 1:20 AM

MOSES LAKE - The 40th annual Moses Lake Distinguished Young Women program was held Saturday at Moses Lake High School to say goodbye to the 2022 court and welcome the incoming court for 2023.

The new 2023 Moses Lake DYW court consists of Distinguished Young Woman Emma Fulkerson, first runner up McKenna Meise and second runner up Lydia Jensen.

Fulkerson said she felt really grateful to be selected as Moses Lake’s 2023 distinguished young woman.

Fulkerson said she grew up watching the program and the push to do it herself came from last year’s DYW, Esther Roeber.

“She gave me a huge push and I'm so grateful that she did,” Fulkerson said.

This year’s program had six contestants: Fulkerson, Meise, Jensen, Beverly Ross, Makiya Kast and Reegan Radach.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed being among some of the best young women this community has to offer. Each one of these ladies has countless talents and potential, and they exude light and goodness to those around them with a maturity beyond their years,” a statement from the DYW of Moses Lake Committee said.

The girls had five areas they competed in. Categories included scholastics (25%), interview (25%), talent (20%), fitness (15%) and self expression (15%). The program only showed the talent, fitness and self-expression categories as the interview was conducted earlier in the day and the scholastics have been created through their schoolwork.

The program, held at the Moses Lake High School theater, not only featured the contestants but also showcased local dance teams and members from the 2022 DYW court.

The competition was known as America’s Junior Miss. The nationwide program is designed to help young women build skills in interviewing, public speaking, self-confidence and community involvement while giving them opportunities to earn scholarships.

The distinguished young woman for each area can move on to the state and national pageants to compete for more scholarships and titles.

Roeber, last year’s winner, is also the distinguished young woman for the state of Washington and moves on to compete at nationals in a few months.

This year’s Moses Lake pageant awarded more than $10,000 in scholarships. Meise received three $350 scholarships for community outreach for the most donations raised, spirit of DYW and her interview skills, respectively. Fulkerson received a $350 scholarship for fitness and $1,000 for scholastic achievement, and Jensen received two $350 scholarships for self-expression and talent.

In addition to scholarships for the individual categories noted above, each of the three girls selected to the new court also received scholarship awards based on their placement. Second runner up received $1,500, first runner-up received $2,000 and the distinguished young woman received $3,500.

For those considering competing in the competition, Fulkerson said the opportunity is a great experience and has helped her learn and grow.

“I would say just go for it. If you have any inkling in your heart that says like, ‘Oh my gosh, that'd be so much fun to do,’ just do it because regardless of winning, it's such a great experience and teaches you how to be a more confident and well-rounded woman. So, I just say, `Go for it!’”

Rebecca Pettingill can be reached at


Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

Moses Lake’s 2022 distinguished young woman Esther Roeber (left) poses with the new Moses Lake 2023 distinguished young woman Emma Fulkerson (right)just after the announcement that Fulkerson had won.


Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

All six contestants of this year’s distinguished young women program smile with their certificates at the end of the program on March 12. Pictured from left to right are Reagan Radach, Lydia Jensen, Emma Fulkerson, Makiya Kast, McKenna Meise and Beverly Ross.


Rebecca Pettingill/Columbia Basin Herald

The 2023 Moses Lake DYW court, from left to right Lydia Jensen, Emma Fulkerson and McKenna Meise.

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