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Distinguished Young Woman for 2022 to be named

The Shafter Distinguished Young Woman program will be held on April 1 at the Ford Theater.

The Shafter program is one of the oldest in the state, giving over $1 million dollars in scholarship money in the past 40 years. The program combines college and career readiness, life skills training, mentoring, friendships and fun.

Participants meet regularly for months in preparation for the event. They learn new skills, work hard, and put in hours rehearsing, culminating in a live program in front of family, friends and community members. At the conclusion of the night, awards will be given in several different categories, with scholarships given out to the participants.

A new Distinguished Young Woman will be named and that woman will go on to represent Shafter in the state competition held in Bakersfield and will also be busy with community events, such as ribbon cuttings, fireworks show and other local events.

The event tests the girls' skills in a physical fitness routine, a self expression phase, which tests the participants' composure and grace and a talent portion. They are also judged on their school transcripts in the scholastic phase and will be interviewed by the judges, allowing them to get to know the girls a little better, such as their goals, opinions, and achievements.

This year there are six participants vying for the title.

The first participant is Faith Bazaldua. Faith is the daughter of Constance Rubio and will be performing a monologue for the talent phase of the program. She is sponsored by San Joaquin Refining.

The second participant is Jessica Moreno-Bravo. The daughter of Mario and Rosa Moreno, Jessica is being sponsored by the Tilbury Family and will be singing for her talent.

Cassandra Gutierrez is participant three. She is the daughter of Jesus and Elizabeeth Gutierrez. She is sponsored by Chuy's Harvesting Service and will be performing a Color Guard routine.

The fourth participant is Juleebeth Diaz. Diaz is the daughter of Ulises and Karla Diaz. She will be performing an original poem and is being sponsored by Apple Market.

Pacific Tire is the sponsor for the fifth participant, Arianna Mendez. Mendez is the daughter of Cristina Avendano. She will be performing a Folklorico dance for the talent phase of the night.

Laura Neufeld is participant six. Neufeld will be singing for her talent. She is the daughter of Steve and Jennifer Neufeld and is being sponsored by the Shafter Ford Theater.

Last year's winner, Nicole Morris, will be there to say goodbye to the community, speak about the past year as Shafter's Distinguished Young Woman, and will hand her title to a new winner.

There are tickets available online at


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