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Soroptimists hosting Distinguished Young Women program this month
oak DYW

The annual Distinguished Young Women of Oakdale program will be held on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m., staged at the Magnolia Elementary School Auditorium. Soroptimist International of Oakdale has sponsored the scholarship program for the past 36 years. Oakdale High School senior Grace Miller currently holds the title of Oakdale’s Distinguished Young Woman for the Class of 2024.

This year’s program features eight participants from Oakdale High and Oakdale Charter School’s Class of 2025: Kimberly Espinoza Belmonte, Jordan Birchall, Memphislynn Carr, Montserrat Garcia, Madelyn Hammond, Madison Mattos, Leah Sales, and Emma Weber. 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. The participant selected as Oakdale’s Distinguished Young Woman will go on to compete in the Distinguished Young Women of California Class of 2025 program this summer.

Featured this week are the first four candidates, highlighted in alphabetical order: Kimberly Espinoza Belmonte, Jordan Birchall, Memphislynn Carr, Montserrat Garcia. Photos of the participants were provided courtesy of Antoinette Ryun.

Look for information on DYW hopefuls Madelyn Hammond, Madison Mattos, Leah Sales, and Emma Weber in the Feb. 21 issue.



Kimberly would like to attend UC Davis after graduation from Oakdale High School to study pre-med and science with the career goal of becoming an anesthesiologist. At OHS, Kimberly has been a member of the Academic Decathlon and Model United Nations teams. Kimberly earned medals for her efforts on the Academic Decathlon team and has received Student of the Month awards several times. Also at OHS, Kimberly is a member of the Interact Club and Hispanic Youth Leadership Club as well as works part-time as a tutor and cafeteria worker. Kimberly volunteers at her church, has helped with the Valley Home Halloween Festival, and has served as an after school program helper at Magnolia Elementary School. In her free time, Kimberly enjoys painting, volunteering, cooking, baking, and taking care of children. Kimberly is seen as a genuine, hardworking, and good-hearted girl that always puts effort into everything she does. Supporting Kimberly in all of her endeavors are her parents Eliseo and Adriana Espinoza and siblings Estefani and Nataly.



With the career goal of becoming a child behavioral specialist, Jordan would like to attend Brigham Young University to study psychology following graduation from Oakdale High School. Jordan is active on the OHS campus participating in volleyball, musical theatre, and show choir. She volunteers with the OHS Service Club participating in projects to help the community such as the annual Trick or Treat for Cans and Holiday Bags for First Responders projects, and has served as Treasurer, Event Planner, and Historian for the club. Jordan has also volunteered with Love Oakdale and serves as an organist for her church ward. Jordan’s achievements include OHS Poetry Out Loud finalist, Stanislaus County Poetry Out Loud Second Place, and Best Leading Actress in a Musical nomination. Jordan has many interests including playing and teaching the piano, singing, skiing, wake surfing, attending Broadway musicals, reading, and traveling. Supporting Jordan in all that she does are her parents Nick and Molly Birchall, grandparents Sally and Kevin Seibert, and siblings, Jessica, Max, Carter, and Kate.



With an interest in medicine and helping people, following graduation from Oakdale High School, Memphislynn would like to attend the University of Oregon to study to become a nurse/travel nurse, physical therapist, sports medicine doctor, or anesthesiologist. Memphislynn is a three-sport athlete at OHS participating in basketball, water polo, and track and field. Her training and skill set in the shot put event earned her First Place honors in the Valley Oak League as well as Stanislaus County Clash competitions. Recently at OHS, Memphislynn was selected Winter Homecoming Queen. Memphislynn has a passion for service having volunteered at Salvation Army Holiday Food and Toy Distribution events for three years, Love Oakdale, and National Night Out. She has also volunteered her time participating in the upkeep of city parks and with an Adopt a Highway program. Memphislynn enjoys music, sports, baking, and travel. Keeping up with Memphislynn’s busy schedule are her guardians Lloyd and Lynette Kjos.



Montserrat would like to attend San Diego State University to study business administration with the goal of owning her own business one day. Active on the Oakdale High School campus, Montserrat has been in the Leadership Class for three years having served as Sophomore Class President and currently serves as Junior Class President. In addition, Montserrat has served as Secretary of the Hispanic Youth Leadership Club and is presently serving as Vice President. She has also participated in Model United Nations and the Service Club. Montserrat has been a member of the OHS tennis and basketball teams, and participated in Link Crew this year welcoming incoming freshman students. Montserrat is a member of the youth group at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church. She has volunteered her time at track meets and toy drives with her basketball teams. In her free time, Montserrat enjoys practicing yoga, watching documentaries and Netflix, shopping, and reading. Encouraging Montserrat in all that she does are her parents Fili and Maria Garcia and siblings Esteban, Manuel, and Santiago.


Tickets to the Distinguished Young Woman program are $15 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.

For more information, contact Nancy Lilly at 209-607-7605 or E-mail

The program will also showcase last year’s participants including Hannah Haas, Taylor Hay, Hazel Hunter, Kaci Jericoff, Amiyah Lemos, Madison McDonald, Danielle Sandoval-Bautista, Ximena Record, Jenna Sanders, and Brooke Wheat, in addition to Oakdale’s Distinguished Young Woman Grace Miller.

Founded in 1958, Distinguished Young Women is a free program that encourages participants to reach their full individual potential. The Soroptimist mission is to empower young women by providing over $1 billion in scholarship opportunities, connecting with a nationwide network of women, developing their self-confidence, and participating in Life Skills Workshops that prepare them for success after high school. National sponsors include Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, Mobile County, City of Mobile, Alabama Power Foundation, Master Boat Builders, Gant Travel Management, Regions Financial Corporation, John Cauley Jeweler, Jostens and Alabama Media Group.

For more information about Distinguished Young Women, contact Tara Principe, National Headquarters Marketing and Communications Director, at 251-438-3621 or or visit For more information about Soroptimist International of Oakdale, Email or visit their Oakdale Soroptimist Facebook and Instagram social media pages.