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Claire Congo of Madison is the reigning Distinguished Young Woman of Madison County. CONTRIBUTED

Congo chosen Distinguished Young Woman of Madison County

MADISON – After claiming the title of 2021 Distinguished Young Woman of Madison County, Claire Congo is busily preparing for the state program on Jan. 22-23, 2021.

Congo is a senior at James Clemens High School.

“This scholarship program is all about empowering women in five separate areas: scholastics, interview, talent, fitness and self-expression,” Congo said. She qualified for all categories.

As overall winner, Congo rated highest scores for scholastics, self-expression, talent and essay portions and received additional scholarships. “It took hard work and determination on the front end, so I was excited to be chosen,” she said.

For her talent, she sang an excerpt of “Welcome Home” from the musical “Johnny Guitar.” During her interview, judges asked about current events and her plans.

Contestants prepared virtually during “Life Skills Week” leading to the contest. Although they couldn’t interact directly during Life Skills Week, “we made it work. I now have seven new friends through this awesome program,” Congo said.

“The Madison County Board and our 2020 Distinguished Young Woman, Mary Caton Davidson, kindly helped us prepare by sharing interview, self-expression, talent and fitness tips,” Congo said. Families and DYW board attended the contest, following CDC guidelines.

In January 2021, Congo will participate virtually in the state program. “I’ve been hard at work. I can’t wait,” she said.

At James Clemens, she is a National Merit Semifinalist, earned the Advanced-Placement Scholar with Distinction Award and ranks in the top five percent of her class. Congo recently received the Heisman High School Award.

Congo is involved with the Biomedical Academy and Girls Varsity Soccer. She serves as an officer in Beta Club and Future Business Leaders of America. Congo holds membership in numerous honor societies, Student 2 Student mentors and Student Government Association.

At her church, Congo is a greeter and praise team member. She is an intern with Northeast Alabama Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She completed a medical mission trip to Guatemala and a sports mission to Puerto Rico.

She plays with North Alabama Soccer Club on a showcase team, which recently won the state title for the fifth consecutive year.

“I’m CPR-certified and working on my patient care tech, EKG tech and pharmacy tech certifications,” Congo said. “Since quarantine began, I have been learning Spanish.”

Congo plans to attend Auburn University and major in nutrition science on the pre-med track.

Her parents are Brent and Christina Congo.

For more information, visit DistinguishedYW.org.

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