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KNOXVILLLE—When one of Katye Brock’s high school teachers urged her to participate in the Distinguished Young Women of America competition, she had no idea how much it would impact her life.

In June, Brock won the national competition, formerly known as America’s Junior Miss, and earned more than $51,000 in scholarship money.

Katye BrockBrock, of Tullahoma, Tennessee, will start at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the fall where she plans on majoring in international studies and going to law school to earn an international law degree. Both of her parents graduated from UT.

“I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else,” Brock said.

Brock said she’s excited to start classes, play flag football, join the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, and participate in Student Government Association.

In May, she graduated from Tullahoma High School where she was president of the National Honor Society and leader of an international service society called RAISE (Raising Awareness in Schools Everywhere) that she started her freshman year.

Brock recalls standing on stage as one of the top ten finalists, convinced she wasn’t going to win. She said she was shocked to hear the announcer call her name.

“It shows me that hard work really pays off,” Brock said. “I worked so hard to get to that point and if I work hard, anything can happen.”

At nationals, Brock placed in the top five for four of the five categories: talent, fitness, self-expression, and interview.

For the self-expression portion, Brock donned a cocktail dress and answered this question: What’s your favorite family tradition and how do you plan on carrying it out?

“I go to Disneyworld with my dad every year,” Brock said. “Doing this taught me to retain some of the childhood wonder. I plan on taking those values to college and taking my kids to Disneyworld.”

As Brock starts her media tour in August through New York and the Southeast, she “wants to promote the program and make it sounds as good as it is.”

She understands that she’s the face of Distinguished Young Women and that girls are going to look up to her, but she’s ready for the responsibility.

When she’s not winning national scholarship competitions, Brock loves reading the Harry Potter series, exercising—especially yoga and the elliptical machine—and anything to do with musical theater, dancing, and singing.

C O N T A C T :

Emma Macmillan (865-974-9409, emacmill@utk.edu)

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, amy.blakely@utk.edu)