Milan DiBacco wins Distinguished Young Woman of Carlsbad award

Gabi Roller, Photo Editor

Junior Milan DiBacco was named Distinguished Young Woman of Carlsbad, Class of 2024, earning $1,250 in scholarship money. DiBacco is one of 16 junior girls from San Diego who competed to represent the county at the Distinguished Young Woman state finals held in Bakersfield, July 9 to 16, where she will have a chance to earn some of the $30,000 being offered. 

“I found out about this scholarship through a Carlsbad alumni named Samara Anderson,” DiBacco said. “She told me it was a great experience for her and an opportunity to practice interviews and public speaking.” 

When competing, the contestants are evaluated in the categories of Scholastics (25%), Interview (25%), Talent (20%), Fitness (15%), and Self-Expression (15%). DiBacco speaks on how her involvement with the CHS varsity dance team has helped her in areas such as talent and fitness. 

“For the speech portion, you get the prompt 24 hours in advance,” DiBacco said. “The night before the showcase, I wrote my speech and practiced it many times so I was ready to perform it the next morning.”

DiBacco’s participation in Speech and Debate at Carlsbad High also helped her greatly in order to do well in this category, but also practicing and going over her prompt many times gave her a greater score. In addition to being named an Overall Winner, DiBacco was named a winner in the Fitness category, performing an aerobic dance routine.

“For the talent section of the competition, the participants could choose any talent and got to perform on stage for 90 seconds,” DiBacco said. “I chose to do a jazz dance. For the fitness section, we were in groups of four and we performed a five minute workout dance. We were judged on our technique and strength throughout.”

Because of her well-rounded character, she was able to receive a large grant going toward any college of her choosing. DiBacco encourages anyone who wants to try to go out and give it their best. 

“I would definitely encourage others to apply, because it definitely helped me grow as a public speaker,” DiBacco said. “It’s also a great opportunity to get scholarship money for college.”