Here she is...Talladega County's Distinguished Young Woman
by By LAURA NATION-ATCHISON Home features editor
Lexie Gates Rasco will perform her talent wearing this gown. She will play “Petite Piece Concertante” by Guillaume Balay on the trumpet.
Talladega High School senior Lexie Gates Rasco is one of dozens of young women who are spending the week in Montgomery where the 2012 Distinguished Young Woman will be named Saturday.

Formerly known as America’s Junior Miss, the program was renamed in 2010.

Rasco left for the event Jan. 13 and returns at the conclusion of the program Saturday.

The program is designed to provide the support and opportunity they need to build a successful life before and after college.

Rasco is a member of the National Honor society and Mu Alpha Theta. She is also vice president of the Talladega High School Student Government Association and in the eleventh grade was treasurer for the organization.

Rasco is an Alabama Girls State Delegate, president of the Talladega Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and is a member of the Alabama All-State Band. She is a section leader and first chair for the Talladega High School Marching, Symphonic and Jazz Bands and is a member of the First Presbyterian Church Handbell Choir.

She has studied piano for 10 years and has played the trumpet for six years.

“I understand that music offers opportunity and balance to one’s life,” she said.

For the talent portion of the program, Rasco will play “Petite Piece Concertante” by Guillaume Balay on the trumpet.

She is the daughter of Mark and Jeanne Rasco of Talladega and has a younger sister, Cate Joseph Rasco.

She plans to attend either Auburn University or the University of Alabama after graduation and wants to be a dermatologist or engineer.

She has recently been accepted into the Auburn University Honor Band and the University of Alabama Honor Band and has actually already won a scholarship from both schools based on her scholastics.

Founded in 1958 in Mobile, the Distinguished Young Women program is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. It has provided life-changing experiences for more than 700,000 young women across the country and more than $93 million in cash scholarships at the local, state and national levels. In addition to cash scholarships, Distinguished Young Women participants are eligible for college-granted scholarships from almost 200 colleges and universities.

More than $108 million in college scholarship opportunities were provided last year, some of which included full tuition, room, and board to first-class institutions. Many participants leave the program with scholarships to help them with their college educations, but all of them walk away with friendships, life skills and increased self-confidence. Distinguished Young Women strives to give every young woman the opportunity to further her education and prepare for a successful future.

Distinguished Young Women is a national scholarship program that inspires high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments.

The program seeks to encourage continued education and provide college scholarship, develop self-confidence and the abilities to interview effectively, to speak in public, to perform on stage and to build interpersonal relationships.

It also seeks to encourage and showcase excellence in academic achievement, physical fitness, on-stage performance skills, and the ability to think and communicate clearly and create opportunities to beneficially inspire the lives of others.

© 2012