Phoenix, Arizona teen named Distinguished Young Woman of Arizona

Susannah Cowley

Statewide scholarship program awarded $20,000 in cash scholarships to participants

GILBERT – On September 17, Susannah Cowley of Phoenix was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Arizona and awarded $6,700 in cash scholarships during a statewide scholarship program for high school girls held at the Higley Center for the Performing Arts in Gilbert. The evening’s program was emceed by US Senator Jeff Flake.


Cowley was one of 28 high school senior girls from Arizona who competed to represent the state as the Distinguished Young Woman of Arizona for 2017. Participants were evaluated in the categories of Scholastics (25 percent), Interview (25 percent), Talent (20 percent), Fitness (15 percent), and Self-Expression (15 percent). 

Throughout the next year, Cowley will represent the state 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.

Cowley is the daughter of Matt and Andrea Cowley and is a senior at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix. When asked about her participation in the program Cowley said, “This has been such an enriching experience. I have learned so much, but more importantly, have made lasting friendships with 27 of the most kind, talented, and fun girls I’ve been blessed to know.”

Shane Matlock, Chairman of the Indiana state program and a judge for this year’s Arizona program, commented “Susannah is truly an intelligent and talented young woman who embodies what a Distinguished Young Woman should be. She is responsible, ambitious, has set goals and lives by moral principles. Arizona will be well represented.”

The 60th National Finals will take place on June 29, 30 and July 1, 2017, in Mobile, Alabama. Cowley will travel to Mobile, along with 50 other representatives from across the country to participate in personal development activities and community service projects before competing for the opportunity to become the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2017 and for additional cash scholarships. South Carolina’s Tara Moore, who is attending the Clemson University, was named the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2016.

The mission of Distinguished Young Women is to positively impact the lives of young women by providing a transformative experience that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership and talent. National sponsors include Mobile County, City of Mobile, Wintzell’s Oyster House, Evonik, Encore Rehabilitation, Alabama Power Foundation, Master Boat Builders, Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, and Regions Financial Corporation.