The annual Distinguished Young Women of Oakdale program will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Magnolia School Auditorium. Soroptimist International of Oakdale has sponsored the program for the past 32 years. Oakdale High School senior Jaden Chau currently holds the title of Oakdale’s Distinguished Young Woman.
Oakdale’s program features 17 participants from the Class of 2021: Nicole Brunker, Mackenzie Carreira, Kylie Davis, Carley Denys, Harmony Edwards, Alexis Hamby, Stephanie Hauser, Madison Hoffman, Lauren Kiely, Caroline Krum, Hannah Lee, Charlotte Liekhus, Ava Merchant, Olivia Mondragon, Jadyn Rau, Leilani Roper, and Hannah Sundberg. They will compete in five categories: Scholastics, Talent, Fitness, Interview, and Self Expression for the Distinguished Young Woman of Oakdale title as well as category and other scholarship awards totaling $7,850. The candidate selected as Oakdale’s Distinguished Young Woman will go on to compete in the Distinguished Young Women of California program this summer.
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 p.m. For more information, contact Nancy Lilly (209) 607-7605.
This week, we preview the first eight candidates, again listed in alphabetical order.
With an interest in law, Nicole would like to attend a UC and study to become a lawyer following graduation from Oakdale High School. Nicole has served in the on campus clubs Cultural Cuisine and Interact since her freshman year and currently serves as President of both clubs. She is also a member of the S Club and currently serves as Historian. Nicole enjoys playing tennis and is a member of the OHS tennis team. Nicole has earned her Academic Block O in recognition of her high grade point average. Other achievements include earning first place in a speech contest and a tennis award. Outside of school, Nicole has fed the homeless with her church and participated in a summer theater program. Nicole’s interests include kickboxing, playing the piano, and travelling. Supporting Nicole in all that she does are her parents Wendi and Victor Murray and Robert and Eska Brunker and sisters “UB” and Amy.
Mackenzie enjoys learning about science and history and finds crime with its many mysteries interesting. As such, following graduation from Oakdale High School, Mackenzie would like to attend UC Davis and study for a career as a forensic detective. Mackenzie has been active in cheerleading for many years and is on the Varsity squad at OHS. She has shared her love of the sport volunteering her time to teach the basics of cheerleading to young girls participating in the Mini Mustangs program at OHS and youth groups at Infinite Athletics. Mackenzie has also volunteered her time feeding and providing warm clothing to the homeless on Thanksgiving and has participated in a car wash fundraiser. During her free time, Mackenzie enjoys tumbling, exercising, listening to music, editing photos, shopping thrift stores to turn old things into new, sewing, and the art of makeup. Supporting Mackenzie in all of her endeavors are parents Connie and Daniel Carreira and sister Camryn.
At Oakdale High School, Kylie is the goalie on the Varsity Water Polo team. Kylie received the team’s Integrity Award in 2019. She is also involved in the on campus Interact Club and Cultural Cuisine Club. Kylie enjoys speech class and competitions and received third place in an Oakdale Rotary speech competition. She also enjoys volunteering her time and has participated in an Autism Speaks Walk in Modesto and performed set up and clean up duties at numerous water polo games. Kylie enjoys caring for the animals on her family’s farm. Following graduation from OHS, Kylie plans to attend college and major in marketing and business management. Cheering Kylie on in all that she does are her parents Nicole and Phillip Davis and sister Andrea.
Carley is active on the Oakdale High School campus as a member of the Leadership class, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Future Farmers of America (FFA) in which she has received FFA Greenhand Degree and FFA Chapter Degree awards for her work in the program. She is also a member of the OHS soccer and track teams. Carley is a member of the Oakdale Soccer Club, S Club, Key Club, Interact Club, and Link Crew at OHS. Outside of school, Carley volunteers her time helping with IDMES (Irmandade Mariense Do Divino Espirito Santo) events. She also serves as a Junior Volunteer for Oak Valley Hospital District. Carley would like to attend Oklahoma University and study to become an emergency room doctor. Other interests of Carley’s include practicing yoga, cooking and baking, and photography. Encouraging Carley every step of the way is her mother Denise Sawyer, brother AJ, and sisters Megan, Melissa, Shyler, and Justine.
Following graduation from Oakdale High School, Harmony would like to attend Ohio State University to study business with the career goal of owning her own business. Harmony has received First Place awards in a Science Olympiad competition as well as a poetry contest. Harmony has also been recognized for her efforts in sports earning the Best Defensive Player and Most Improved Player awards for basketball, Most Improved Player award for softball, and Best All Around award for cheerleading. Harmony volunteers her time as a basketball coach for young children’s teams and helps with various community events and school clubs. Outside of school and sports, Harmony enjoys painting, playing the guitar, piano, and ukulele, singing, hunting for vintage items, and skiing. Keeping up with Harmony and all of her activities are parents Kechina and Rob Edwards, brother Declan, and sister Phoebe.
Alexis is very active both on the Oakdale High School campus and off. On campus, Alexis is a member of the OHS tennis team and softball team. Off campus, Alexis takes kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu classes at the Oakdale Mixed Martial Arts Academy. Also at OHS, Alexis serves as Vice President of the Interact Club and is also a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance Club. Following graduation from OHS, Alexis would like to attend the University of Washington and study to become a pediatrician or family physician. In addition to mixed martial arts, Alexis enjoys writing, baking, cooking, and reading. Supporting Alexis in all of her endeavors are her parents Antonia and Michael Hamby, sister Neesa, and brothers Shane and Ayden.
With an interest in medicine, Stephanie would like to attend Johns Hopkins University and study to become a biomedical engineer or orthopedic surgeon after graduation from Oakdale High School. Stephanie has received her Academic Block O for her academic achievements and the Doing High School Right Award. On the OHS campus, Stephanie volunteers her time with the S Club and Literacy Center. Outside OHS, Stephanie volunteers at Oak Valley Hospital and her church. Stephanie has also volunteered for the outdoor education program and received a certificate of recognition for her time. Stephanie enjoys music and plays the piano, guitar, and ukulele. She also enjoys reading, writing, and running. Supporting Stephanie in all of her endeavors are parents Stephen and Norma Hauser and sister Shirley.
Following graduation from Oakdale High School, Madison would like to attend the University of Washington and study medicine for a career as a pediatrician. Madison volunteers her time with the on campus Pre-Med Club and Literacy Center. Madison is also a California Scholastic Federation member as well as a member of the OHS tennis team. Her public service activities include tutoring, working community events as an S Club member, and library helper. Madison’s work in the OHS Leadership class earned her an award for leadership and excellence. In her spare time, Madison enjoys reading, writing, and playing tennis. Encouraging Madison in all that she does are parents Nikki Foster and Kevin Hoffman.
Next week, a look at the remaining nine hopefuls for the Outstanding Young Woman award, including: Lauren Kiely, Caroline Krum, Hannah Lee, Charlotte Liekhus, Ava Merchant, Olivia Mondragon, Jadyn Rau, Leilani Roper and Hannah Sundberg.
Begun in 1958, Distinguished Young Women has impacted the lives of more than 770,000 young women. The 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, Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, Alabama Power Foundation, Master Boat Builders, Wintzell’s Oyster House, Encore Rehabilitation, Regions Financial Corporation, Evonik, Jostens and Alabama Media Group.