COLUMBIA CITY —Congratulations were in order for 18-year-old Columbia City High School student Michaela Thomas as she walked through the front door of the Whitley County Community Foundation, holding two awards in her hands. “Nothing should hold anyone back from this experience,” said Thomas Sunday afternoon.
Thomas, winner of 2012 Whitley County Distinguished Young Woman (DYW), formerly known as Junior Miss, attended the state level of the competition in Kokomo last week. After a week of practices, tours and preliminaries, the Whitley County native was selected for the prestigious Spirit Award and the Scholastic Award Saturday. Both awards included a $500 scholarship.
Nineteen other girls spent the week competing and bonding with Thomas as they displayed their talents and answered on-stage questions. “We did a lot of practicing every day, and we all helped each other out,” she said. “That was how much of the week went.”
Thomas said she will stay in contact with many of the girls as she plans to attend college to become an occupational therapist. Pamela Thompson, coordinator of the Whitley County franchise of the DYW, said while Clinton County’s Distinguished Young Woman, Chloe McClaughlin from Frankfort, received the title of Indiana’s Distinguished Young Woman 2012, she was still proud of Thomas’s attitude and accomplishments. Thompson even gave Thomas a crown of her own to wear to her return party.
“We are very very pleased with her performances and then her awards,” said Thompson.
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