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Yang Competes In Distinguished Young Women State Finals

Shannen Yang, Oakdale’s Distinguished Young Woman, competed in the Distinguished Young Women of California Class of 2019 State Finals along with 24 other rising high school seniors in Bakersfield earlier this summer.

The competition consisted of five categories: Scholastics, Interview, Fitness, Talent, and Self Expression. For the Scholastics category, Yang’s academic record was evaluated by a qualified educator. She received a 10 minute personal interview with the program’s judges for the Interview category. For the Fitness category, Yang skillfully executed a choreographed 10 minute aerobic fitness routine. In addition, she performed Mozart’s Cadena from Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major on the piano for her talent presentation. Finally, Yang displayed her public speaking ability, confidence, and poise for the Self Expression category when she thoughtfully addressed the question what she would attempt to do if she knew she could not fail.

Yang and the candidates spent a total of eight days in Bakersfield for the competition and other activities included making special appearances and attending a mentoring brunch with young women entrepreneurs.

Following the program, Yang said, “I’ve grown so much this past week. This experience definitely exceeded my expectations as I’ve now made so many new friends and have become more confident in not only my skills but also myself. I will no doubt miss everyone and everything and will use this experience as an inspiration in the future.”

Attending the program with Yang were her parents, Alexander and Ping Yang, brothers Cleavant and Ethan, as well as several family members. Also attending the program was Soroptimist member and Oakdale DYW Program Chair Nancy Lilly.

Audrey Hsu, Distinguished Young Woman of Cerritos-Artesia East, was named California’s Distinguished Young Woman for the Class of 2019.

Oakdale’s program is sponsored by Soroptimst International of Oakdale. The next local program for the Class of 2020 will be held in March 2019 and is open to junior class girls that reside in the 95361 zip code. For more information, contact Lilly at 847-6488.

For more information about the DYW scholarship program, visit For more information about Soroptimist International of Oakdale, visit or on Facebook at Oakdale Soroptimist.