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Knoxville’s Nariah Mullins is Tennessee’s Distinguished Young Woman 2024

From the Chattanoogan: Smoky Mountains’ Distinguished Young Woman Nariah Mullins became the first Knoxville resident in 20 years to receive the Tennessee silver medallion at the conclusion of the 2024 state program on Saturday night in Cleveland.

The senior at Gibbs High School emerged among 17 contestants and was awarded $4,800 in scholarships: $4,000 for the title and $800 for her preliminary victories in Talent, Self-Expression, Fitness and Interview.  She succeeds Chattanooga’s Maggie Haimelin who was the first runner-up at last month’s national finals in Mobile, Alabama.

Miss Mullins could become the fifth consecutive Tennessee representative to become a top eight national finalist at next year’s competition.


Miss Mullins, who hopes to attend The Julliard School in New York City to pursue a career in professional dance, performed Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” on Friday’s first night of competition. The last Knoxville native to win the state competition was Lydia Cuffman in 2004.


Tullahoma High School seniors Madeline Muse (Tullahoma) and Isabella English (Cumberland Valley) were the First and Second Alternates. They both won Talent and Interview Awards with Miss Muse adding a third in Scholastics. Greenback’s Makenna Canon was the recipient of the contestant voted Spirit Award. The Be Your Best Self Pillar Award was presented to Soddy-Daisy’s Jazalyn Boyd for excellence in achieving the five missions of DYW: Health, Involvement, Ambition, Responsibility and being Studious.


2024 Distinguished Young Women of Tennessee Program Category Winners ($200 Scholarships each)


Fitness: Nariah Mullins (Smoky Mountains), Olivia Congdon (Historic Cleveland) and Fancy Rojas (Bradley County)


Talent:  Miss Mullins, Madeline Muse (Tullahoma) and Isabella English (Cumberland Valley)


Self-Expression: Miss Mullins, Miss Muse and Grace Wieber (Lookout Valley)


Interview: Miss Mullins, Miss English and Vidhi Patel (McMinn County)


Scholastics: Misses Muse, Wieber and Patel.