Julianne Abenoja, MBHS Senior, Named 'Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama 2022'

  • Julianne was one of 45 contestants from all across the state who competed in the DYW of Alabama event. (Photos via Distinguished Young Women of Alabama Facebook page)

  • Monday, January 24, 2022 – Julianne Abenoja, a senior at Mountain Brook High School, was awarded the title of ‘Distinguished Young of Alabama 2022’ on Saturday evening in Montgomery. Abenoja represented Jefferson County after winning ‘Distinguished Young Women (DYW) of Jefferson County’ back in July.

    “The entire night felt like a whirlwind,” Abenoja said in an interview with Alabama News Network. “I was running on pure adrenaline in the last performance, and it was just such a dream.”

    Saturday night, she was one of 45 contestants from all across the state who competed in the DYW event. Julianne won the talent, fitness, scholastic and interview portions of DYW of Alabama. She will now represent the entire state at the National DYW competition June 23-25, 2022 in Mobile, Ala.

    Julianne received $6,000 in scholarships for winning overall and additional scholarships from winning the academic, talent and fitness competitions. Several colleges in the state award full renewable tuition scholarships to the winner as well.

    Abenoja is the third Mountain Brook High School student to earn the DYW of Alabama recognition since 1985 (formerly named America’s Junior Miss). She joins Christa Carns Lidikay (1985) and Kathryn Tully Oelsner (2009).

    Click here to learn more about DYW in Alabama.


    “Julianne is an amazing young woman and an incredible student. She works incredibly hard both in the classroom and in her interests outside of school. Julianne embodies everything that we believe in at Mountain Brook High School.” - Philip Holley, Mountain Brook High School Principal

    “It is no surprise to those who know Julianne that she has been named Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama for 2022. We’re so excited that she gets to represent our community and state at the national level with her talent and personal character. We wish her the best and are very proud of her continued success.” -Dr. Dicky Barlow, Mountain Brook Schools Superintendent

    “She was very well-loved by the other participants, the committee that puts on the program, and other participants’ families. Every mom and dad wants their darling to win, but she deserved to win.” - Eddie Macksoud, DYW of Jefferson County Chairman