Distinguished Young Women of Wisconsin gather in Franklin

Distinguished Young Women of Wisconsin finalists gathered at the Franklin Public Library for an orientation Saturday before next month's competition. 

FOX6's Nikola Junewicz spoke to the girls about the value of finding their passion as they prepare for college and the hard work that comes with pursuing their goals.

Some of the girls said just participating in the program has been an invaluable experience in itself.

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"I think it shows a great example," said Klaudia Sullivan of St. Mary's Springs Academy in Fond du Lac. "Being surrounded by women we can look up to, and then getting to know everyone that's in our age and is similarly independent."

"I think it's a really great program for boosting confidence and stage presence, and just connecting with others in a professional manner," said Brookfield East High School's Lucy Irwin. "I think it's a great way to meet other people."

The state competition is Aug. 12 in Franklin. The winner gets a scholarship prize for her college education and a chance to compete at the national Distinguished Young Women competition next year.