Havrilla wins spirit award at state DYW

Evan Gerike, Managing Editor

Senior Emma Havrilla spent a week in Kokomo, Indiana for the state Distinguished Young Woman competition and came away with the Spirit of DYW award.

Havrilla participated in Portage’s version of Distinguished Young Woman last May, and was chosen as the winner. Every year, the winner goes down to Kokomo to partake in the state DYW event.

“I won [in Portage], and they take a distinguished woman from every school in Indiana,” Havrilla said.

In total, 22 girls from 22 different schools compete.

Over the course of a week, the girls do several different activities; this year, Havrilla said they visited a country club and talked to a rotary club, toured a glass factory in Kokomo, went bowling, and did a service project at a local retirement home.

The Spirit award is voted upon by the competing girls and is given to who the girls believe most embodies the spirit and purpose of the DYW competition.

“All the girls vote on who they think embodies the DYW, and I won that,” Havrilla said. “I have a lot of pride because I represented Portage and the people who go here. I feel like I represented what people are like at Portage.”

Havrilla added that the award was a little more special because her mom received the same award when she was in high school.

Havrilla said the award was given to her in the form of a trophy made at the glass factory. It includes a $1000 scholarship. Havrilla also won $2000 for winning the Portage DYW.

Havrilla added she received a lot of support from the people at Portage. “It was really nice, I got a lot of letters from teachers and a lot of letters and pictures from friends. It meant a lot to me to see how much I’m loved and how people care about me, it made the whole experience ten times better.”