The annual Distinguished Young Women of Oakdale program will be held on Saturday, March 9 at 7 p.m. at Magnolia School Auditorium. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children and students and may be purchased at the event. The doors will open for tickets and seating at 6:30 p.m.
Soroptimist International of Oakdale has sponsored the program for the past 31 years. Oakdale High School senior Shannen Yang currently holds the title of Oakdale’s Distinguished Young Woman.
The upcoming program features 10 participants from the Oakdale High School Class of 2020. Five of the 10 participant biographies are listed below. The remaining five will appear in the March 6 issue of The Oakdale Leader. Participants are featured in alphabetical order.
Jessica has participated in the Photography Club at Oakdale High School and is currently on the Hispanic Youth Leadership Council where she serves as Council secretary. Jessica is also a member of the Oak Valley Hospital Junior Volunteer program and was recognized as Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding service. In her free time, Jessica enjoys photography and art. She also enjoys following politics as well as learning about psychology and mental health. Jessica works part-time and also babysits. After graduation from OHS, Jessica would like to attend California State University, Sacramento, and study to become a psychiatric technician. Encouraging Jessica in all of her endeavors are her parents Ireneo and Patricia Arellano and brother Carlos.
Ryleigh is secretary of the Key Club at Oakdale High School and has helped pack Christmas dinner boxes for people in need. Ryleigh is also active in the Future Farmers of America program at OHS and holds the FFA Greenhand Degree and FFA Chapter Degree. She enjoys music, cheer, and dance and is a member of the OHS Varsity Cheer team. Ryleigh is also a member of the S Club and has enjoyed helping with projects that benefit the community. As a member of her church’s youth group, Ryleigh has served as a counselor-in-training for their Kids Camp for the past two years. She also volunteers in the children’s ministry program. Ryleigh enjoys analyzing music to better understand the artist. Following graduation from OHS, Ryleigh would like to attend Boise State University and major in speech pathology. Proudly encouraging Ryleigh in all of her endeavors are her parents Delaine and David Bellington and brother Easton and sister Everleigh.
With a passion for helping people, Madison would like to attend Northern Arizona University and study to become a neonatal nurse following graduation from Oakdale High School. At OHS, Madison has been a member of the Varsity Golf team since her freshman year. Madison recently received recognition as the All League Most Valuable Player and County Golfer of the Year for her efforts on the course. She also holds the OHS school record for lowest total score and is the first Mustang to shoot under par. Madison has participated on the swim team helping her team to earn records in relay events. Madison’s community service activities have included feeding the homeless, providing golf lessons to children, and housing kittens through the ASTRO Foundation. Madison enjoys participating in school activities and boosting school spirit, learning about becoming a neonatal nurse as well as hiking, camping, reading, and baking. Supporting Madison in all that she does are parents Kelley and Jon Blanc and sister Victoria.
Following graduation from Oakdale High School, Jaden would like to attend UCLA and major in engineering and math. At OHS, Jaden is a member of the Varsity Cheerleading team receiving the “Best All Around” award. Jaden is also a pole vaulter on the Varsity Track and Field team and earned the “Most Improved” award for her efforts. Jaden was selected 2017 Homecoming Princess and most recently 2019 Homecoming Queen. She also received recognition as Jostens Renaissance Staff Student of the Month in 2018. Jaden is active in service clubs on campus including the S Club, Interact Club, and serves as head secretary of the Key Club. She is a member of the California Scholarship Federation. Jaden dances competitively and served as team captain for Dance Worlds in which her team placed fifth overall. She is Founder/President of the Oakdale Water Summer Sports Club, works as a lifeguard for the City of Oakdale in the summertime, and enjoys being in the water and learning new tricks on her wakeboard. Cheering Jaden on in all that she does are her parents Gina and Ian Jones and sister Brooke.
Following graduation from Oakdale High School, Shirley would like to attend UC Berkeley and study psychology with the career goal of becoming a counselor. Shirley has served as an outdoor education counselor and currently provides tutoring in math and Spanish. Shirley is a member of her church’s youth group. She loves to sing and has been taking voice lessons for the past two years. Shirley also enjoys playing soccer and mixed martial arts although a recent hip surgery has kept her sidelined from these activities. Shirley also enjoys art, reading, music, and playing the piano. Encouraging Shirley in all that she does are her parents Norma and Stephen Hauser and sister Stephanie.
Begun in 1958, Distinguished Young Women has impacted the lives of more than 765,000 young women. The mission of the DYW program 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 Distinguished Young Women, contact Jessica Sawyer, National Headquarters Marketing and Communications Director, at (251) 438-3621 or Jessica@DistinguishedYW.org or visit www.DistinguishedYW.org.
For more information about Soroptimist International of Oakdale, contact Membership Chair Nancy Lilly (209) 607-7605 or visit www.oakdalesoroptimist.org and the Oakdale Soroptimist Facebook page.