2015 Distinguished Young Women recently selected

A junior at Fortuna High School is one of two people selected as 2015 Humboldt County Distinguished Young Women. Kayleen Kemp and Arcata High School student Sophie Northern will share the title and travel to Bakersfield in July to compete in the California Distinguished Young Woman program, an official preliminary of the America's Distinguished Young Woman scholarship program (formerly America's Junior Miss).

Fortuna's Taylor Farnsworth was selected as first alternative and Dalas Hayes, a Fortuna High School student who lives in Carlotta, was selected as second alternative.

"The program's goal is to honor young women to encourage them to continue on the path of excellence by completing their college educations and assuming roles of leadership in their communities and professions, thereby becoming role models and setting examples for other young women to follow," local program coordinator Lisa Losey said.

She said the Humboldt County Distinguished Young Women program (originally known as the Junior Miss Pageant) is one of the longest running programs in California, and since 2000 has awarded more than $48,000 in scholarships.

The program was held April 5 at the Winema Theater in Scotia. Local sponsors and contributors include Fortuna Kiwanis, Humboldt Redwood Co., Town of Scotia LLC, Whitchurch Engineering, Landmark Real Estate, Goble's Mortuary, and many other local businesses and individuals.

A total of 10 young women competed in the Humboldt County contest. Other contestants were Amanda Arneson, Angie Gearhart, Elyzabeth Hodgin, Michaelyn Mullan, Lupita Reynosa and Cheyenne Wallace, all Fortuna High School students.

Submitted photo

Arcata high School's Sophie Northern (left) and Fortuna High School's Kayleen Kemp are the 2015 Humboldt County Distinguished Young Women and will compete at the statewide level in Bakersfield in July. Photo from Humboldt County Distinguished Young Women Facebook page.