Lexington teen competes in Distinguished Young Women National Finals


MOBILE, Ala. (WTVQ) – Wendy Wei of Lexington is gearing up for the beginning of the 64th Distinguished Young Women National Finals.

Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, the national scholarship program will be held virtually. Wei and the other 49 state representatives will be recognized during the three showcases for going through a series of video submissions and video conference calls.

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The competition’s evaluations include scholastics, interview, fitness, talent and public speaking. For the talent and fitness categories this year, participants submitted videos. Wei participated in public speaking through a recorded video conference call. She also went through an individual interview with a panel of five judges over video conference and her performance in school has been evaluated through her high school academic record and standardized test scores.

In place of the in-person showcases, the program will be streamed for free on June 24, 25 and 26 on DYWNationalFinals.com. 2020’s Distinguished Young Woman of America Elif Ozyurekoglu will host the three-night event.

Scholarships will be awarded each night and on Saturday, June 26, eight finalists will be selected. Of these eight, one will be chosen to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2021. Throughout the event, a total of $131,000 in college scholarships will be awarded to the Class of 2021.

The final showcase on June 26 will be broadcast live from the Mobile Civic Center where Ozyurekoglu will be joined by program alumna and television personality Amy Goodman to host a viewing party and announce the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2021.

“These young women are intelligent, ambitious and ready to take their place as leaders in their communities,” said Kendra Haskins, Executive Director of Distinguished Young Women. “We are excited to highlight Distinguished Young Women throughout national finals by showcasing these participants and celebrating the thousands of others who have been impacted by this incredible program throughout the year.”

Wei will perform “Fantaisie-Impromptu” on the piano for her talent presentation. She graduated this year from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and is the daughter of Hong Jiang and Qiou Wei.