CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB)- Katye Brock of Tullahoma had never competed in any sort of pageant until last year.  But for Katye, the first time was a charm, as she won her local Junior Miss program, then the state title, and just last month was named the national winner.

The scholarship program, since renamed "Distinguished Young Woman" honors the best of America's high school seniors.  This week, 23 young ladies from across the state are in Cleveland, rehearsing at the Dixon Center at Lee University, where preliminaries are set for Friday night, and finals will be held Saturday night.  The program begins each evening at 7:00.

Among the contestants for the 2012 title are Bethany Welch, Baylee Norris, Sally Harrison, Kiona Reese, Jessica Crisp, Krista Ellis, Emily Myers, Kourtney Stanton, Kaitlyn Ray, Victoria Williams, Natalie Rayfield, Emily Fain, Diana Proffitt, Victoria Jocsing, Ariana Kim.  Kiki Carson, Casey Johnson, Jessie Richards, Lindsey Limerick, Madeline Johnson, Nicole Patton, Tarah Hooks and Lexee Hill.

Former Junior Miss participants Traci Dunn Fant and Donna Lowe are among those who work year-round behind the scenes to make the program a success.  Dozens of other volunteers open their homes to the contestants, judge the program, choreograph the dances, decorate the stage, and do numerous other chores as the program enters its sixth decade in Tennessee.