Beresford teen named Distinguished Young Woman of South Dakota

On March 11, Alinia Houser of Beresford was named the Distinguished Young Woman of South Dakota and awarded $500 in cash scholarships during a statewide scholarship program for high school girls held at Kresge Recital Hall on the campus of Augustana College in Sioux Falls.

Houser was one of three high school senior girls from South Dakota who competed to represent the state as the Distinguished Young Woman of South Dakota for 2012. Participants were evaluated in the categories of Scholastics (20 percent), Interview (25 percent), Fitness (15 percent), Self-Expression (15 percent) and Talent (25 percent).

Throughout the next year, Houser will represent South Dakota at various public events and serve as a role model to young people by spreading the program's national outreach message of "Be Your Best Self." The outreach program is designed to encourage self-esteem and excellence in all young people through its five principles: Be Healthy, Be Involved, Be Studious, Be Ambitious and Be Responsible.

Houser is the daughter of Woodrow E. Houser, II and Melinda Houser and is a senior at Beresford High School. Houser's achievements include: Varsity football cheer captain; state one-act outstanding actress award; state oral interpretation qualifier; School Board State Recognition Award; honor roll and National Honor Society. In addition, Houser's activities include: Cheerleading; oral interpretation; dance; one-act; FCCLA; Quiz Bowl; youth group; yearbook designing; Roseni Lutheran Church and Cross Peer Age Tutoring.

The 55th National Finals will take place on June 28-30, in Mobile, AL. Houser will travel to Mobile along with 49 other state representatives to participate in personal development activities and community service projects before competing for the opportunity to become the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2012 and for a share of more than $130,000 in cash scholarships. Tennessee's Katye Brock, who is attending the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, won the 2011 overall award.

For more information on Distinguished Young Women of South Dakota, contact Jennifer Tolbert at (251) 438-3621 or

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