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Digital Showcase Scheduled For Distinguished Young Women Event
oak DYW

The annual Distinguished Young Women of Oakdale program will be presented as a digital showcase on Saturday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. Soroptimist International of Oakdale has sponsored the program for the past 33 years. Oakdale High School senior Jadyn Rau currently holds the title of Oakdale’s Distinguished Young Woman.

Oakdale’s program features 13 participants from the Class of 2022: Melissa Barajas, Victoria Blanc, Savannah Borba, Claire Cummins, Stephanie DeCavit, Madison Dessert, Sierra Hartwig, Makena McDonald, Jayden Mohr, Reagan Oliveira, Frida Record, Kierstyn Springer, and Brooklyn Tolboe.

They will compete in five categories: Scholastics, Talent, Fitness, Interview, and Self Expression for the Distinguished Young Woman of Oakdale title as well as category and other scholarship awards totaling $7,650. The candidate selected as Oakdale’s Distinguished Young Woman will go on to compete in the Distinguished Young Women of California program this summer.

The link to watch the digital program is:

Password: zoom. For more information, contact Nancy Lilly at (209) 607-7605.


This week, we profile seven candidates, listing them in alphabetical order. The remaining six will be profiled in the April 28 issue.


Melissa Barajas

Melissa is active in academic teams at Oakdale High School serving on the Academic Decathlon Team, Model United Nations, and Science Olympiad. She also participates in the OHS marching and jazz bands. Melissa would like to attend San Jose State University to study speech pathology for a career as a child speech pathologist. Melissa’s public service includes tutoring at Family Support Network and helping with CCD classes at her church. Melissa’s interests include anime, K-pop, music, art, and Star Wars. Supporting Melissa in all of her endeavors are her parents Marisela and Jose Barajas and sisters Daniela and Sarai.


Victoria Blanc

Following graduation from Oakdale High School, Victoria would like to attend Macalester College with a career goal of becoming a lawyer. Victoria is on the OHS golf team and helped contribute to the team’s success winning All League, Valley Oak League, and Section Championship awards in 2018 and 2019. Victoria has also participated in Rotary and Lions Club speech contests earning 1st Place awards. Victoria is a member of the S Club at OHS and has also volunteered off campus for the ASTRO Foundation, golf tournaments, and coaching golf at junior summer camp. In her free time, Victoria enjoys golfing, hiking, kayaking, biking, baking, exercising, and reading. Other interests include the environment and sustainability. Supporting Victoria in all of her endeavors are her parents Kelley and Jon Blanc and sister Madison.


Savannah Borba

Following graduation from Oakdale High School, Savannah plans to attend a four year university to study engineering with the goal of owning her own business in the future. Savannah’s activities include 3D printing and the Occupational Olympics. Savannah received the Kiwanis Hope of America Award for her academic accomplishments, leadership and good character. Savannah enjoys volunteering her time with the Oakdale Baseball and Softball Association and Oakdale Basketball Junior League. In her free time, Savannah enjoys playing basketball, piano, painting, snowboarding, and wakeboarding. Encouraging Savannah in all that she does are her parents Evelyn Reeves and Richard Borba and siblings Richie, Bob, Robyn, Isaiah, and Allen.


Claire Cummins

After graduation from Oakdale High School, Claire plans to attend a four year university and study political science. At OHS, Claire is a member of the tennis team and participates in the S Club. Claire is a member of Central West Ballet and enjoys singing as well as playing the guitar and piano. Claire has volunteered for the Astro Foundation, Fair Oaks Family Fun Night, and Central West Ballet events. Other interests include reading, writing, and studying psychology. Encouraging Claire in all that she does are her parents Caryn and Ed and siblings Jacob, Jack, Grace, and Ella.


Stephanie DeCavit

Stephanie is active in Show Choir, Concert Choir, and the Theater/Drama Club at Oakdale High School. She is also on the tennis team. Stephanie received the Kiwanis Club’s Hope of America Award and was Team High Point winner in the 2018 Stanislaus County Academic Pentathlon competition. Following graduation from OHS, Stephanie would like to attend the Culinary Institute of America to study Baking and Pastry Arts to become a pastry chef and own her own bakery. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys baking, cooking, and musical theater. Supporting Stephanie in all of her endeavors are her parents Sara and Donald DeCavit.


Madison Dessert

Following graduation from Oakdale High School, Madison would like to attend the University of Nevada, Reno and study chemistry and medicine. Madison is active in cheerleading and was a member of the JAMZ National Championship team. She also received a Kiwanis Club Hope of America speech award. Madison’s interests include literature, chemistry, psychology, anatomy, and health and fitness. Madison also enjoys working logic puzzles, reading, Karaoke, and dance. Supporting Madison in all that she does are her parents Denise and Chad Dessert and brother Jacob.


Sierra Hartwig

Following graduation from Oakdale High School, Sierra would like to attend Oregon State University to study nursing with a career goal of becoming an Orthopedic Nurse. Sierra is active on the cheerleading and track and field teams at OHS and was the Valley Oak League 100 meter hurdles champion. Sierra is also a member of the Leadership class. Sierra coaches children’s gymnastics and also volunteers at her church. In her free time, Sierra enjoys hiking with her family. Encouraging Sierra every step of the way are her parents Cynthia and Steven Hartwig and sister Alyssa.


Founded in 1958, Distinguished Young Women is a free program that encourages participants to reach their full individual potential. Their mission is to empower young women by providing over $1 billion in scholarship opportunities, developing their self-confidence and participating in Life Skills Workshops that prepare them for success after high school. National sponsors include Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, Mobile County, City of Mobile, Alabama Power Foundation, Master Boat Builders, Encore Rehabilitation, Shoe Station, Gant Travel Management, Wellington and Bonnie Coffeen, Regions Financial Corporation, Jostens and Alabama Media Group.