Representing Saint Bernard Preparatory School, Caitlin Varquez warmed the hearts of both competitors and judges as she competed recently in the Cullman County 2013 Distinguished Young Women’s (DYW) Competition held at Wallace State Community College.
Caitlin prepared for weeks for this extremely fierce competition, in which young women are judged in areas of self-expression, talent, academics, and personal interview poise. DYW is not a typical beauty contest, but instead, is an academic program designed to help promote women and to recognize them for their academic excellence as well as community involvement.
“It was one of the most memorable evenings of my life,” Caitlin said. “I prayed that God would give me what I deserved, and that the person who wins, be most deserving.” Evidently Caitlin’s fellow contestants thought her to be very deserving as she was chosen by them to receive the Spirit Award, earning her a $250 scholarship.
The honors did not end there. With her uplifting rendition of “If They Could See Me Now,” from the Broadway Play, Sweet Charity, Caitlin captured the talent portion of the pageant, earning her an $800 scholarship.
With alarming statistics and an obvious passion for the subject, Ms. Varquez did an excellent job of explaining her platform to the judges and audience members: to educate women about the risk associated with heart disease, and to promote wellness and fitness among women. Before the evening was over, this petite young woman with a bright, engaging smile, earned not only a dual-enrollment scholarship to Wallace State Community College for her academic achievements, but garnered the overall $3,000 scholarship when she was named the Distinguished Young Woman for Cullman County 2012.
“We are delighted to have Caitlin represent St. Bernard Prep and Cullman,” said Fr. Joel Martin, President of Saint Bernard Preparatory School. “She is a remarkably talented young lady, and we know good things are in her future.”
Caitlin is the daughter of Dr.’s Genaro and Mir Varquez of Cullman. She will represent Cullman County in the state competition to be held January 12-19, 2013 in Montgomery, Alabama.