It’s time for National Finals!! I cannot believe it has been an entire year since I represented Mississippi at the Distinguished Young Women program. A lot has certainly happened during this year, and I am so excited to be able to go back and see Mallory Pitts, the 2012 Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi, as she performs at the Mobile Civic Center. The Distinguished Young Women program is very popular in my state, and our state program is always a grand event; however, there is nothing like being able to participate and attend National Finals in Mobile, Alabama. The entire city comes together to put on the program and entertain the participants for two weeks. When I first got to Mobile, I was very nervous about meeting and getting along with the other girls, not to mention the fact that I was going to be away from home for two weeks! My nerves quickly settled as I made new friends and memories with the 49 other participants. One of my most favorite outings at National Finals was going to Wintzell’s Oyster House for the oyster eating competition and then going to the beach. Being from Southern Mississippi, I go to the beach several times a year, but some girls from more northern states had never seen a beach!! The day we had at the beach was a relaxing time and gave all the girls an opportunity to unwind and just get to know more about each other as well as their host families.
|All 50 of us on stage following the opening number.|
The class of 2012 might be nervous as they get to know one another in Mobile, and will certainly be nervous as they walk onto the Civic Center stage for the first time, but the memories they create will last a lifetime. The night before my family drove me to Mobile, I became very nervous and really just wanted to stay at home, and I remember my father telling me that participating in National Finals is a privilege that only 50 girls get each year; simply attending the finals is an honor. The national participants have received a wonderful gift in being able to compete nationally and meet a new friend from every state in America.
|The top 10 finalists - I am in the blue dress, 5th from the right.|
This all sounds pretty fun, doesn’t it?? Over 700,000 girls (and counting) have participated in this program, and you should be one of them! Not everyone will get to go to the National Finals, but this should be each girl’s goal. After all, even if you shoot for the moon and miss, you will still land among the stars. Good luck to all the participants in this year’s National Finals, make the most of every minute!
Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi for 2011
Hannah Roberts is a college freshman at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi majoring in Biochemistry with a Pre-medical emphasis. Originally from Mount Olive, Mississippi, Hannah was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi for 2011. Learn more about Hannah here!