Alyssa Faler, Distinguished Young Woman of Covington County, will be one of 31 Mississippi high school seniors competing for more than $30,500 in college scholarships when the 2017 Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi Program gets under way Thursday, July 14, in Meridian.
“I’m looking forward to competing,” said Faler.  “I’m also looking forward to meeting the girls and getting to know them.  “I’ve already talked with my host family and I’m excited to get to know them too.”
Faler said she has put in a lot of hours of preparation for the competiton.
“I’ve practiced my talent and fitness and done a lot of research and mock interviews to get ready.  I’m excited for the week.”
The state program, which is held in Meridian, Mississippi, is now in its 60th year celebrating and spotlighting outstanding achievements of the state’s best and brightest high school girls. The three nights of competition in Meridian’s Temple Theater concludes on Saturday, July 16. Curtain opens 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 8 p.m. Saturday.
Reserved tickets for the 2017 Distinguished Young Woman Program are available for $60 for a three-night package. General admission tickets are available for $45 for a three night package, or may be purchased for individual evenings: $15, Thursday; $15, Friday; and $20, Saturday. Tickets are on sale now and may be obtained by calling 601-480-3438
“We are extremely excited about this year’s program,” said Sid Wilkinson, State Chairman of the Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi Program. “This program celebrates what is right with today’s young people and offers them cash scholarship opportunities to further their education.”
Alyssa, the daughter of Greg and Donielle Faler of Sumrall, attends Sumrall High School High School.  She is the granddaughter of Mike and Frieda Whiddon of Sumrall; Carolyn Faler of Seminary and Johnny Faler of Hattiesburg.  She is the great-granddaughter of Virginia Whiddon of Sumrall.
Academic accomplishments, membership and hobbies include the following: AP History Award
Citizenship Award Bobcat Award Outstanding Concert Choir Student and Beta Club Secretary She plans to attend University of Southern Mississippi to pursue a career Social Worker.
During the week-long program in Meridian, contestants are evaluated on scholastic achievement, fitness, self-expression, talent and interview. Faler has chosen a Violin presentation of “Ashokan Farewell” for her talent.
If selected as Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi, Alyssa will compete in the Distinguished Young Woman for 2017 finals in June of 2017, held in Mobile, Alabama. There she will compete for the opportunity to win a share of more than $100,000 in cash scholarship awards, including the $50,000 national title scholarship award.
The Distinguished Young Woman Program (formerly America’s Junior Miss) was founded in 1958 and is the oldest and largest scholarship program for young women. More than 6,500 high school girls participate each year. This program has offered more than $1.1 billion in college scholarship opportunities to young women across the country. Past DYW participants include Diane Sawyer, Debra Messing, Deborah
Norville, Julie Moran, the late Mary Frann, Kim Basinger and Kathie Lee Gifford.
DYW’s national sponsors include Mobile County, the City of Mobile, and the Mitchell Company. National category sponsors include Alabama Power, Encore Rehabilitation, Mobile Gas, Regions Bank, and Wintzell’s Oyster House. The 60th annual America’s Junior Miss National Finals will be held in Mobile, Alabama, in June of 2017.