Duncan named 2012 Distinguished Young Woman
by David Lazenby
Aug 31, 2011 | 4148 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ashten Lee Duncan, the winner of the 2012 Distinguished Young Women of Walker County program, receives adulation from several admirers at the conclusion of the contest. - Photo by: David Lazenby
Ashten Lee Duncan, the winner of the 2012 Distinguished Young Women of Walker County program, receives adulation from several admirers at the conclusion of the contest. - Photo by: David Lazenby
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A national scholarship contest founded in Mobile has a new name and a new local winner.

Ashten Lee Duncan, a senior at Walker High School, on Tuesday won The 2012 Distinguished Young Women of Walker County program held at Rowland Auditorium on the Jasper campus of Bevill State Community College.

Along with the medal hung around Duncan's neck by last year's winner Allison Farris, Duncan also received $2,000 in college scholarship money by winning the competition that takes into account academics, fitness, talent, interviewing skills and self expression.

"It's a great scholarship opportunity and it really helps you discover who you are," said Duncan, the daughter of Jed and Anna Daniel. "It's a great way to meet new friends and it has been a wonderful experience."

Farris, who had to relinquish the title Tuesday, said although becoming a "has-been" was bittersweet, she enjoyed being part of Tuesday's program, and said the last year was "a great opportunity."

Duncan, who also won the event's Self Expression Award, was not the only winner Tuesday night.

Hallie Grace Augusta Muncher of Sumiton Christian School was named first alternate, netting her $1,000 in scholarship money. She also won the Fitness Award and the Be Your Best Self Essay Award.

Emily Makayla Winkler of Dora High School was named the second alternate, which won her $500 in college scholarship funds. She also won for Best Overall Talent.

Hannah Marie Studdard of Walker High School won the Spirit Award and Overall Scholastic Award.

Each of the awards won their recipient at least $100 in scholarship money.

Monique Rector, a member of the 2012 Distinguished Young Women of Walker County, said she encourages all county high school juniors to consider taking part in the event next year.

"If they understood what opportunities are available once they get past Walker County, then more might be participating," said Rector, one of the county's three Junior Miss winners who went on to win the state Junior Miss contest held in Montgomery. "The list of scholarships available ... it is astounding -- just for participating, actually, at some of the colleges."

Duncan's grandmother, Kathy Daniel, unfortunately, lost a butterfly bracelet that has significant sentimental value during the event. If anyone finds the bracelet, she can be reached at 384-6533.