Two Indian American teens vie for ‘Distinguished Young Women’ scholarships

New York: Minnesota’s Keerthana Ramanathan and Troy’s Sharanya Swaminathan are among the state representatives competing for ‘Distinguished Young Women’ 2022 scholarships and program.

Distinguished Young Women is a national scholarship program for students currently in high school. It provides cash, as well as, college-granted scholarships and life skills workshops to young women students all around America. They have competitions at local, state and the national level.

Students are evaluated on scholastics (25 percent); interview (25 percent); talent (20 percent); fitness (15 percent); and self-expression (15 percent).

“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,” their website reads.

The 2022 finals like any other year will be held in Mobile, Alabama in the month of June after the participants complete their high school graduation. In the two weeks in Alabama, they engage in various events, workshops, and volunteering. During this time, they are also supposed to practice for their showcase for the finals.

Keerthana and Sharanya, both in the senior year of High School, chose dance as their preferred talent to showcase in the contest. Sharanya aims to study Business Administration and Public Policy whereas Keerthana inclines towards Surgical Oncology.

Keerthana Ramanathan, a resident of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, wishes to study at Northwestern University. She will be representing Minnesota at the competitions.

A student at the Eden Prairie Senior High School, she also is involved in cancer research at the University of Minnesota Medical School and has studied Oncology and Cancer biology from Harvard Extension School. She is a student campaign leader at the non-profit Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

Born to Tamil parents, Keerthana presented an Indian Classical dance Alarippu in the talent section.

Sharanya Swaminathan, selected as the Representative for the State of Michigan wishes to study at the Michigan State University upon completion of her High School in 2022.

A student at Troy High School, Sharanya has been active in Model UN, Forensics Speech and Debate and International Youth Politics forum, Patch reported. (Source:

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