Grace Kelso Submitted photo

MOBILE, Ala. — Grace Kelso of Vassalboro plans to travel to Mobile on Monday, June 13, to participate in the 65th Distinguished Young Women National Finals on June 23-25 at the Mobile Civic Center Theater.

Kelso is one of 50 representatives competing for more than $150,000 in cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2022, according to a news release from the program.

Following her selection as the Distinguished Young Woman of Maine, Kelso began preparations for the National Finals competition, which will include five categories of evaluation: scholastics, interview, fitness, talent and self expression. During her two weeks in Mobile, Kelso will participate in team building activities, complete community service projects, interact with the Gulf Coast community through various events and engage in many hours of rehearsal in preparation for the three-night scholarship competition.

“We are excited to host these incredible young women who are leaders in their schools and communities,” said Kendra Haskins, executive director for Distinguished Young Women. “We know the future is in good hands.”

If selected as the program’s overall winner, Kelso will spend the next year representing Distinguished Young Women across the country through various appearances and promoting the program’s national outreach initiative of Be Your Best Self. The outreach program is designed to combat major issues facing children today, including childhood obesity and high school drop out rates, as well as encourage young people to take an active interest in their communities through service.

The outreach program consists of five elements — Be Healthy, Be Involved, Be Studious, Be Ambitious and Be Responsible.

Kelso is a 2022 graduate of Erskine Academy in South China, and the daughter of Storm and Bradley Kelso.