Emi Malik: Distinguished Not Only As a Buckeye

Name: Emi Malik

Major/ Minor: Dental Hygiene Major (Pre-Dental), Dance Minor

Hometown: Galena, Ohio

Year: Freshmen

This week, Her Campus had the privilege of interviewing the lively and prestigious Emi Malik. Her prestige is not only derived from being a student at The Ohio State University, but also by holding the title of Distinguished Young Woman of Ohio this past year. She obtained the title at the end of her senior year of high school and has held it through her time here at OSU. This past weekend, she passed down the title to another distinguished young woman. Read on to learn about her experience and you'll soon recognize why Emi truly deserved this title! 

Her Campus: What is the Distinguished Young Women of Ohio program and what does it mean to you to have held the title?

Emi Malik: The Distinguished Young Women scholarship program is an organization that promotes scholarship, leadership and talent among high school senior girls. Being the oldest and largest scholarship organization of its kind, Distinguished Young Women influences girls to be role models in their community and to be their best selves each and every day. Formally known as Junior Miss, the Distinguished Young Women program is an honor to be affiliated with, let alone to have the privilege to represent the entire state of Ohio. Overall, it has truly been a blessing in my life, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity and the lessons learned along the way. For more information, please look into distinguishedyw.org.

HC: What first made you interested in joining the Distinguished Women of Ohio scholarship program?

EM: Growing up, I danced at Straub Dance Center in Westerville, Ohio from age three through my senior year of high school. When I was in elementary school, there were a handful of senior girls announced as Ohio's Junior Miss from the dance studio. Since then, several girls participated in the program from Straub Dance Center, including my older sister, Ali. Every single girl that has gone through this program has had one of the best experiences of their life! It's not about the destination or the scholarship money you can earn for college, it's the journey along the way that truly changes your life.

HC: How has it effected your life in the past year including your time at OSU?

EM: This past year has truly been the best year of my life thus far! In the Distinguished Young Women program, you get to stay with a host family in the area of the show for an entire week with another girl participating in the program. At the state program, you represent your county. My roommate and I had the honor of staying with the Morgan Family. Our host siblings were pure blessings of joy! You grow incredibly close to these families, and consider them your second home. Then, I had the honor to represent Ohio at the Distinguished Young Women National Finals in Mobile, Alabama. This time, we stayed for two weeks! My lovely host family, The Finnorn's, were amazing hosts to my roommates from Kansas and New Mexico, Rhianna and Nicolette. Overall, throughout your time you attend luncheons, whether it's for a charity or a group of children, have fun events, such as having a Mardi Gras Ball or just bonding with the girls, and have endless, fun rehearsals! This program has presented me with amazing opportunities! At Ohio State, I try to continue to spread the Distinguished Young Women outreach program, "Be Your Best Self." Due to this organization, the transition to college was much easier, and I now have the opportunity to share the messages of DYW everyday, especially the importance of gratitude.

HC: What clubs/groups are you involved in at OSU?

EM: Here at Ohio State, I am on the Relay For Life committee, more specifically the Entertainment and Activities committee. This is an 18-hour event through the American Cancer Society, from 6:00 p.m. April 10 to noon on April 11, and I highly encourage everyone to attend! Additionally, I am a new member of the Delta Gamma fraternity. I also participated in Buckeyethon, an event that raised over 1.2 million dollars for childhood cancer research, and donated seven inches of my hair to a child in need. Finally. I am a member of the OSU Pre-Dental club, as I am currently on the Pre-Dental track, as a dental hygiene major and dance minor.

HC: What is your favorite part about OSU?

EM: My favorite part of The Ohio State University would have to be the spirit, as cheesy as that sounds. There's a reason this university has over 60,000 students. Everyone here bleeds scarlet and grey, and knows they are receiving a superior education. The students are dedicated to their studies, but are also very involved with the hundreds of organizations Ohio State offers. Also, our football team is pretty awesome, too, if you haven't heard of them.

HC: You passed down your title to another distinguished young women just last weekend. How would you describe this bittersweet experience?

EM: Bittersweet is the perfect word to use. Although it seems like a relief that I no longer have dozens of commitments to the Distinguished Young Women program, I would do anything to do it all over again. After a year of hard work, it is always hard to let go of something you're passionate about. At the same time, I am so excited for the new representative, Claire Coder, and I know that the participants of the state program here in Ohio had a life-changing experience. The show was absolutely wonderful, and I am so thankful for all of the volunteers and people affiliated to this wonderful cause. As they always say, don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

HC: What advice would give other women hoping to become the distinguished young women of Ohio?

EM: For young women that are considering participating in the Distinguished Young Women program, please DO IT! This is a scholarship program, not a pageant!!! I was extremely hesitant at first, because the other girls seemed very intimidating, and I was very nervous about staying with a host family for an entire week. I decided to stick with the commitment I made though, and look how it turned out for me! There are dozens of scholarships offered, but the best gift a person can receive from this organization is the experience along the way! You will have so much fun bonding with inspiring women, meeting with respected organizations, and making friendships to last a life-time! The food is wonderful, too! I can never express how much the Distinguished Young Women program has prepared me for the real-world, being sure to always do unto others as you would have them do unto you. There is no specific type of girl that should participate, because this program is truly for everyone! Please look into it at distinguishedyw.org, or look at their twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube pages. Words cannot describe how amazing Distinguished Young Women truly is!!!