Lyn Bergdoll said she hopes more than two dozen students will have an experience of a lifetime this weekend.

On Saturday, 28 high school students will vie for more than $25,000 in scholarship and award money during the 48th York County Distinguished Young Woman competition at 7 p.m. at Central York High School in Springettsbury Township.

"It's meant to be a life-changing experience and to really empower young women to be the best they can be," said Bergdoll, the program's chair. "There are tremendous young people in this community."

Judging begins earlier in the day Saturday when the competitors are interviewed offstage by a panel of judges, who also will review the students' high school transcripts, Bergdoll said.

The interview and scholastic judging will comprise 45 percent of the contestants' score.

On stage: Onstage during the evening event, they will compete in fitness, talent and self-expression categories that account for

55 percent of the overall score, Bergdoll said.

The event's winner will compete in the Distinguished Young Women in Pennsylvania competition in August in Johnstown, Cambria County.

Last year, Sarah Fuller, a York Catholic junior at the time, won the York competition. She went on to win the Pennsylvania competition and will compete for the national title next month in Mobile, Ala., Bergdoll said.

"In the last 10 years, we've had six state winners," she said. "We attract incredible students. They work hard and prepare well. That makes us proud of our community."

--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at


The 48th annual York County Distinguished Young Women program begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at Central York High School, 601 Mundis Race Road in Springettsbury Township.

For tickets, call 779-0517. For information, visit the program's website at