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Distinguished Young Women honors local girls
Stefanie Velasquez
Stefanie Velasquez - photo by Photo courtesy of Jon Michael Terry

Distinguished Young Women of Turlock, previously the Junior Miss pageant, named its 2012 winners: Nicole Larson and Stefanie Velasquez.

Distinguished Young Women of Turlock is a local preface to a national scholarship program for girls who are at the junior level of high school. In addition to college scholarships, those who participate in the program have the opportunity to develop friendships and life skills that will benefit them in future endeavors.

South Turlock winner Nicole Larson, a student at Turlock High, said she was absolutely shocked when she won and said she felt a deep sense of accomplishment.  Larson won a scholarship for four categories — self expression, talent, fitness and interview.

“I hope to use my scholarship for a year’s worth of textbooks,” said Larson. 

Larson hopes this competition will aid her in a sports scholarship for the University of San Diego where she can study pre-law.

North Turlock winner Stefanie Velasquez, also a student at Turlock High, won two categories — self expression and fitness.  She has aspirations to attend UC Berkeley to study bio medical engineering with her scholarship. 

“Participating in the competition just reminds us if we dedicate ourselves, it will pay off,” said Velasquez.

Local winners Larson and Velasquez will have the chance to compete in the National Finals competition in Mobile, Ala. on June 28.