Mansfield wins title

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 Miranda Mansfield, Concordia, was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Kansas at the close of a program Saturday, July 26, at the Blair Theater in Belleville.
 To win the title, Mansfield competed with six other young women from Kansas who were judged on scholastics, interview, physical fitness, self-expression and talent.
For her talent Miranda performed a dance to Counting Stars by One Republic which was choreographed by the Universal Dance Association but modified by Miranda.
 Miranda said her mother encouraged her to enter the DYW competition because of the good scholarship opportunity. She also knew about it because two years ago a couple of Concordia girls she had danced with participated in it and one of them, Alyssa Champlin, won.
 "I was nervous to participate in it because I didn't know any of the other girls who were doing it, but we all ended up getting really close and bonded well," Miranda said.
"It was nice to have the comfort of friendship during the week!" she added. "There were also so many board members and good people surrounding us the whole week and they made us feel like we were part of a family."
 During the week, each of the girls had a host home. "My host home was Mary Waite, and they were awesome," Miranda said. "They made me feel very comfortable and we got along very well."
 Miranda said she was very surprised when she won. "I was not expecting to win at all, so it was such a big shock to me. Now, I have the opportunity to participate at Nationals in Mobile, Ala., next June."
 Nationals will be for two weeks and Miranda said she is super excited about the opportunity and experience that awaits her in Mobile. "I'm a little nervous with being away from home for two weeks but I think it will be worth it," she said. "I'm excited to get to meet all the girls and participate in the exciting events."
 Miranda said her advice to any girls who haven't heard of the program or who are thinking about competing is to do it. "It is such a wonderful program where you can make long-lasting friendships" she said. "It's a great experience in itself and you can get so many scholarships for just participating. Most people don't know that just by participating in the program you get free tuition to Cloud County Community College and Kansas Wesleyan, which is tremendous!"
 First runner-up in Saturday's competition was Anna Hahn from Stockton and second runner-up was Ashley Stock from Troy. Other participants in Saturday's competition were Joni Sheets and Darci Morley from Belleville, Emily Ebert from Clay Center and Payton Isaacson from Scandia.




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