Mississippi’s Distinguished Young Woman Named 1st Runner-Up in National Competition


Mississippi has once again proven that it is home to some of the most talented and accomplished young women in the nation.

Lori Feng of Starkville, Miss. was named 1st runner-up on July 6th at the 2019 Distinguished Young Woman of America Finals which were held in Mobile, Ala. Feng earned a cash scholarship of $20,000 through the national competition, bringing her scholarship money earned at the local, state, and national level to a grand total of $32,950.

She is the daughter of Li Wang and Gary Feng, and has one sister, Katey and one brother, Max.

Following a selection process that began in her hometown, Feng was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi in Meridian in July 2018, which enabled her to advance to the national competition.

During the final night of competition in Mobile, eight finalists were selected.  Onstage the finalists demonstrated their talent, which counts as 20 percent of the final score; physical fitness, which counts as 15 percent; and self-expression, which counts as 15 percent.  Interviews and scholastics made up the other 50 percent.  Feng’s talent was a piano solo to Fantaisie Impromptu Op. 66, by Frederick Chopin.  The national title was awarded to Dora Guo of Vernon Hills, Illinois.

Feng will return to Meridian during the week of July 14th as a new Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi will be crowned during the program’s 63rd annual event.  For many years, the program operated under the title of America’s Junior Miss, and was founded in 1958 to reward the accomplishments of high school girls seeking to pursue a higher education.  The Distinguished Young Women of America continues to further that mission by promoting and rewarding scholarship, leadership, and talent.