So what’s in a name?

For America’s Junior Miss (AJM) Scholarship Program, often times the wrong impression, misconceptions and barriers to success.

Which is why there’s a new name.

“Distinguished Young Women of America” was chosen because it reportedly better reflects the organization and its efforts to remain relevant and keep pace with the needs and interests of today’s young women.

The name change was announced during the AJM National Finals held last month in Mobile, Alabama.

“The benefits of this name is that it more accurately describes the program in a nutshell, and hopefully with the words chosen as the new name, they do not give any connotations that would make people associate it as a beauty pageant,” said Cathy Williams, the local organizer. “The program is, and always has been, a scholarship program designed to give opportunities for education to distinguished young women across America.”

Like AJM, Distinguished Young Women of America will give high school juniors a chance to present themselves in interview, on stage in a group, and on stage as individuals. Scholarship awards enhance their opportunity for continued education.

The negative about any name change is that it takes people time to recognize the new moniker. After all, AJM was in existence for more than 50 years.

“I am sure that, as with most change, there could be ‘growing pains’ in one form or another,” said Williams.

– Lance Masterson