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Distinguished Young Woman Title To Chau
Jaden Chau DYW.jpg
Oakdale High School junior Jaden Chau, left, is all smiles as she accepts the title of Distinguished Young Woman, passed on to her by senior and reigning Distinguished Young Woman Shannen Yang on Saturday night at Magnolia Auditorium.

The annual Distinguished Young Women of Oakdale program, sponsored by Soroptimist International of Oakdale, was staged on Saturday, March 9 at Magnolia School Auditorium. Oakdale High School senior and reigning Distinguished Young Woman Shannen Yang passed her title to Jaden Chau, a junior at Oakdale High School.

In addition to the $2,500 scholarship for the title award, Jaden was awarded $200 scholarships in three categories – Talent, Self-Expression, and Fitness, for a total of $3,100 in scholarships.

Scholarship awards were also presented to Andrea York, Second Place ($1,500) and Interview ($200); Kendal Houck, Third Place ($1,000); Madison Blanc, Fourth Place ($800); and Grace Leitjen, Fifth Place ($600) and Scholastics ($200). Ryleigh Bellington received the $250 Community Service Award. Shirley Hauser was selected by her fellow participants for the $200 Spirit Award. Also participating in the program were Jessica Arellano, Kelli-Lyn Roché, and Emily Thomas.

A total of $7,850 in scholarships were awarded from donations received from the Oakdale Lions Club, Oakdale Rotary Club, Oak Valley Community Bank, Dr. Chet and Mrs. Parnima Mahida, Dr. A. Lee Scaief/Oak Valley Optometric, Drs. Jeff and Jodi Sceville, Bordona’s Furniture and Appliance, Haidlen Ford/Steves Chevrolet-Buick Oakdale New Car Dealers, Valley First Credit Union, Scenic Oaks Funding – Orval Neal, and Lenore Hawks. Soroptimist International of Oakdale provided the title award.

Jaden will represent Oakdale at California’s Distinguished Young Women program in July in Bakersfield for an opportunity to earn additional scholarship awards.

Begun in 1958, Distinguished Young Women has impacted the lives of more than 765,000 young women. Its mission is to empower high school young women by providing scholarship opportunities, developing self-confidence and teaching crucial life skills needed for success in college and beyond. National sponsors include Mobile County, City of Mobile, Alabama Power Foundation, Encore Rehabilitation, Wintzell’s Oyster House, Master Boat Builders, Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, Evonik, Regions Financial Corporation, Jostens and Alabama Media Group.

For more information about Soroptimist International of Oakdale, contact Membership Chair Nancy Lilly at (209) 607-7605 or visit and the Oakdale Soroptimist Facebook page.