LEWISTON — Abigail Levasseur, a member of the Class of 2020 at Lewiston High School, will represent Maine at the Distinguished Young Women of America competition later this month. The 63rd annual event will be held digitally this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abigail Levasseur

Levasseur will compete against winners from all 50 states and the District of Columbia at the national finals on June 25 to 27 at 7 p.m. CST.

The links to the free broadcast will be provided at distinguishedyw.org. Viewers will also be able to watch a collection of videos from across the country put together in a production hosted by the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2019, Dora Guo of Illinois. The prelims will be held Thursday and Friday, June 25 and 26, with the finals scheduled for Saturday, June 27.

Distinguished Young Women is a program that combines the chance to win college scholarships with a program that offers life skills and leadership training to prepare young women for the world after high school. Each year, more than $1 billion in scholarships is made available to young students. Several colleges offer tuition assistance to state winners and a few offer free tuition, including the University of Alabama.

Levasseur was the salutatorian for this year’s graduating class at Lewiston High School. She was a class officer and competed in field hockey and cheering. Her cheering team won the 2017 Class A state championship. The daughter of Sarah Levasseur and Andre Levasseur, she will attend Providence College in the fall with the goal of becoming a university professor.

Each Distinguished Young Women program evaluates participants in the following categories: scholastics, 25%; interview, 25%; talent, 20%; fitness, 15%; and self-expression, 15%.

For the talent portion of the competition, Levasseur will perform a theatrical pom dance to the music of “Omigod You Guys” by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O’Keefe.

The Distinguished Young Women program began in 1958 in Mobile, Alabama, and was formerly called America’s Junior Miss.

For more information or to enter next year’s competition, contact state Chairwoman Paula Masselli at [email protected] Contestants should have a grade-point average of at least 3.4.

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