1. Is Distinguished Young Women a beauty pageant?

No, Distinguished Young Women is NOT a beauty pageant. From 1958 until 1982, winners at all levels of the Distinguished Young Women program were awarded crowns.  Beginning in 1982, Distinguished Young Women began awarding medallions instead of crowns to clarify that this program is based on achievement and not physical beauty. The judging categories are Interview, Scholastics, Talent, Fitness, and Self-Expression. There are some participants that have also competed in beauty pageants though the majority of Distinguished Young Women participants and winners have not.


  1. When and where is the Los Angeles showcase?

Our showcase is held annually in either February, March, or April. The date will be posted on our home page once it is finalized.


  1. Where is the Los Angeles program held?

The location of the Los Angeles County program varies from year to year. The Class of 2018 program will take place on the campus of Loyola Marymount University.


  1. How do I submit an application?

Applications must be submitted online through this website.  Additional details can be found on our Join Us page.


  1. Can I participate in Distinguished Young Women multiple times? How old do I have to be to participate?

Unfortunately, young women are only eligible to participate during their junior year in high school which only provides that one opportunity. Please see the eligibility details on the Join Us tab for additional information.


  1. Does it cost anything to participate in Distinguished Young Women?

No, there is no entry fee to participate in any level of Distinguished Young Women. If a talent presentation requires special costuming or props (piano is an exception), those are the responsibility of the participant. We also make every effort to keep special attire for the showcase at a minimum. Most young women find that they either already own everything they need or can borrow from a friend or family member. If this poses a problem for any prospective participant, they should reach out to us at so that we may work out a solution.


  1. Does Distinguished Young Women have a swimsuit element?

No, there is no swimsuit competition in Distinguished Young Women. As previously stated, Distinguished Young Women is focused on personal achievement, not physical beauty.


  1. What happens if I am selected as a Distinguished Young Women of Los Angeles County?

If you are chosen as one of the representatives from Los Angeles County, your next step will be to participate in Distinguished Young Women of California. Distinguished Young Women of California is held in July or August in Bakersfield, CA prior to the start of the participants’ senior year.  The young woman chosen as the Distinguished Young Women of California will then participate at Distinguished Young Women of America the following June in Mobile, AL. Regardless of how far you advance in the Distinguished Young Women program, as a Distinguished Young Women of Los Angeles County you will receive a college scholarship.


  1. Are there scholarship opportunities for all participants or just those selected as Distinguished Young Women of Los Angeles County?

We award several other scholarships in addition to the overall awards. The quantity and amounts may vary from year to year. ALL participants are eligible for college scholarships from select universities. Additional details on these awards and universities can be found here.

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