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Whitley County's Distinguished Young Woman Michaela Thomas prepares for state competition

(Talk of the Town file photo by Jennifer Zartman Romano) Whitley County's Distinguished Young Woman Michaela Thomas, shown below when she was honored with the title in September, will travel to Kokomo on Sunday and begin competition at the state level next week.

By Pamela Thompson

Michaela Thomas, the Distinguished Young Woman (DYW) of Whitley County (formerly Junior Miss of Whitley County) will leave for the state program in Kokomo on Sunday.
Thomas will join 19 other participants for the competition to become the DYW of Indiana.
Kokomo is the new home of Indiana DYW since the Frankfort Jaycees gave up the franchise for the state program in February of 2011. Preliminary competitions are scheduled for Thursday, February 23, 2012, at 7 p.m. and Friday, February 24 at 7 p.m. at Kokomo High School (KHS), 2501 S Berkly Road in Kokomo. The final competition is Saturday, February 25 at 7 p.m. at the school. The admission charge for the preliminary nights is $10 and the final night charge is $15 per person. The KHS auditorium seats approximately 1000 people. There is reserved seating. Tickets will be available at the door.
Thomas is participant #15 and will compete in the group called “neon pink.” She performs fitness and self expression on Thursday, the first preliminary night and talent on the second preliminary night. She will also introduce her roommate's talent on Thursday evening. Her roommate is Bonnie England from Pittsboro. Both Thomas and England will stay in the home of Greg and Beth Kuhlman, Kokomo.
Thomas met her roommate at the orientation on January 15 and stated, “We already have our idea for the Be Your Best Self (BYBS) presentation.”
All 20 participants are responsible for presenting the BYBS program, a nationally sanctioned program, to elementary and middle school students. Each participant also has to write an essay about the BYBS program.
Thomas is the 47th representative from this Whitley County and Columbia City community to participate in the state program.
The winner of Indiana's program then participates in the national program in Mobile, Ala. In the last week of June.

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