Nicole Renard's voice rises and her speech quickens when she talks about her future.
In the fall, the 18-year-old former Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen will be attending Chapman University in Anaheim, Calif., where she plans to study television broadcast journalism.
She talks about dreams of anchoring The Today Show or Good Morning America, but before she arrives at college or signs a deal with a network, the Kennewick teen and Kamiakin High School graduate will be participating in the 56th annual Distinguished Young Women National Finals.
The competition is June 27-29 in Mobile, Ala.
The Distinguished Young Women competition is centered around the principle of "being your best self." Participants work to be healthy, involved, studious, ambitious and responsible.
Renard, like many of these young women, visits schools and children's organizations in the community and speaks to children about these principles.
While Renard, the daughter of Pamela Walker-Renard and Victor Renard, firmly believes in each of these five core elements, "being ambitious and setting goals" is the most important to her, she said.
"Lots of kids stop dreaming. I always ask them, 'What would you do if you could do anything?' and I have them write it down," Renard said.
In addition to funny answers like "visit Jupiter," Renard meets children who are passionate about "travel or want to be pediatricians or veterinarians," she said.
While they can't accomplish their goals today, Renard hopes that when these kids grow up, they will look back on the slips of paper and work to realize these goals.
Renard's main goal is to be host of her own TV show centered around travel.
"I'm fascinated by people. I want to meet as many different kinds of people as I can," she said.
-- Eleanor Cummins: 582-1515; firstname.lastname@example.org