Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell honored 18-year-old Monday night for her achievements in the 55th Distinguished Young American National Scholarship Program. The local recognition culminates a year of achievement for the future Yale freshman.
The program netted her more than $18,000 in scholarship money from both the state and national competition.
Houle, who graduated from in June, won the Michigan Distinguished Young Woman award in January. That qualified her for the national competition in Mobile, AL, earlier this summer.
The program is solely for high school senior girls and each person competes in five different events, she said. The categories are scholastic, talent, fitness, self-expression and a 10-minute interview in front of a panel.
“They give out lots and lots of money,” Houle said. “It was a wonderful program and I really, truly enjoyed being a part of it.”
Houle said she is the person in her family to go to college, and she credits years of twirling baton for contributing to winning the thousands of dollars in scholarships.
She used a high-energy baton set to win the Fitness and Talent competition and was second overall in the Young Woman category.
Her major will be political science or global affairs, she said. She said she likes writing and international journalism. Her acceptance to Yale is a milestone for her and her family.
Houle has been an award-winning baton twirler for the past 13 years and has been a part of the 13-time national champion .
She was a majorette captain for the Saline High School Marching Band.
She is the daughter of William and Lisa Houle.