The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

Caroline Harper named 2025 Clark County Distinguished Young Woman

Caroline Harper, Distinguished Young Woman of Clark County 2025

Health, ambition, community involvement, scholastics, and responsibility. These are the qualities found in a Distinguished Young Woman.

And these qualities shine extra bright through Caroline Harper, who was named the Clark County DYW representative for 2025.

She not only took the Distinguished Young Woman title, but also received preliminary awards in talent, fitness, self-expression, interview, and scholastic runner-up.

Caroline has been involved with the Clark County DYW Program for many years, growing up with the program. “I wanted to finally be able to participate once I was older and get that experience of being able to be the one performing,” she says.

The participants started preparing in March with an orientation. Rehearsals for this event tend to be a very extensive process, with long hours and late nights to perfect the performance.

“On Saturdays, we would go and practice our fitness and opening routines,” Caroline says. “Then the week leading up to the actual show, we had rehearsals for three hours each night, practicing our routines and everything in between.”

Spending this much time together pushed the girls to get to know each other, creating lifelong memories. The dynamic created between this year’s DYW participants is nothing short of inspiring.

“Everyone who was involved wanted to be there,” Caroline recalls. “Everyone was smart, talented, and funny so it was a really great week and everyone was so encouraging and sweet.”

Growing up with this program, she has seen many Distinguished Young Women compete in the state competition, but one held a special place in her heart.

“Claire Martin is a super big role model for me,” says Caroline, who was Claire’s little sister when she participated in 2022. Claire was named DYW of Clark County for 2023 and went on to win Kentucky DYW.

“I’ve been dancing with Claire since I was really young,” Caroline says. “I looked up to her through ballet, and I also started to look up to her through DYW.”

Following in the footsteps of her role model, Caroline will also compete at the state level of DYW in January of 2025.

Leading up to the state competition, Caroline will be meeting with the Clark County DYW Committee, preparing all of her skills needed to take on the state competition.

“I will be working on what I need for state, including talent, fitness, self-expression, and all the preliminary matters, improving my skills to make them better for state,” she says.

“As the Clark County Distinguished Young Woman, I really want to make a difference with younger girls.” Caroline adds. “I really want to encourage younger girls to use their voice and be involved with their school. I think it is important and really promising for our future. I would love to be able to really embody what it means to be distinguished, and show other girls that it is possible to be a leader and to be involved, and show what good can come from that.”

Madelyn Stotts, Meredith Boone (3rd runner-up), Sydney Antoniou, Grace Owen, Cady Johnson (2nd runner-up), Caroline Harper (winner), Olivia Brownlee (1st runner-up), Maddie Vaughn, Ella Mattingly, Rileigh Reed

2025 Program Awards

The Distinguished Young Woman Program, formerly Junior Miss, has operated in Clark County since 1978. DYW is one of the largest scholarship programs for high school girls. This year the Clark County program awarded over $12,000 in cash scholarships to the winners.

1st Runner Up – Olivia Brownlee

2nd Runner Up – Cady Johnson

3rd Runner Up – Meredith Boone

Talent Winners – Caroline Harper, Sydney Antoniou, Cady Johnson

Fitness Winners – Sydney Antoniou, Caroline Harper, Olivia Brownlee

Self-Expression – Olivia Brownlee, Caroline Harper, Cady Johnson

Interview – Caroline Harper, Maddie Vaughn, Olivia Brownlee, Cady Johnson

Overall Scholastic Winner – Olivia Brownlee

Scholastic Runners Up – Rileigh Reed, Caroline Harper

Be Your Best Self – Madilyn Stotts

Woo Hoo Gang Spirit Award – Ella Mattingly

Missy Davidson 110% Award – Grace Owen

Miss Fara Spirit Award – Sydney Antoniou

Donna Fuller Passion Award – Olivia Brownlee

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Abby Crase
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If Abby could pick any movie character to be, she would be Robin so she can be best friends with Lego Batman. Abby thinks the world can learn a lot from Batman (He is very wise). Her second choice would be Alfred, but she doesn’t like to clean. If Abby were stranded on a deserted island, and she could only bring three items, she would bring a bathing suit, towel, and goggles. She might as well make it into a nice vacation. “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change. Hooo.” -Michael Jackson/ Lego Batman/Abby Crase.

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