MILLEDGEVILLE — Friends, families, local government officials and community supporters gathered at City Hall Friday to congratulate Milledgeville’s Distinguished Young Woman Julia Hinson and Baldwin County’s Distinguished Young Woman Kathryn Babb before they head to Atlanta for a chance to compete for the coveted 2014 title of Distinguished Young Women of Georgia.
Mayor Richard Bentley read and presented a proclamation to Hinson on behalf of the City of Milledgeville while local County Commissioner Johnny Westmoreland, District 5, presented Babb a proclamation on behalf of Baldwin County.
A rising John Milledge Academy senior, Hinson is active in several organizations and committees, including singing in the youth band at Northridge Christian Church, serving as secretary of the Anchor Club, secretary of Beta Club, soccer team and one-act play competitions. She aims to continue her academic career at the University of Georgia and focus majoring within the business field.
“I’m really excited and hope I can represent Milledgeville the best way that I can. I’m looking forward to meeting people that have similar interests as me and getting those connections; it’s encouraging. I’m super nervous but know it will be fun once I get there,” Hinson said. “The Distinguished Young Women program has benefited me so much. It’s been an amazing experience so far and I’m so glad that I did it.”
Babb, a rising senior at Baldwin High School, also keeps busy with various activities, including Marching Pride, District Honor Band, The Vibe Studio competition dance team, Northridge Christian Church, serving as editor for the school yearbook staff, president of the 4-H Horse Club and volunteering at Serenity Rehab each month. She plans to also enroll at the University of Georgia to study veterinarian medicine.
“This program has been beneficial for me because I used to be really shy and it has brought me out and made me realize that I should be bettering myself for the future. I’m looking forward to meeting new people [at the state level] and I heard from other past contestants that they met their life-long friends there,” Babb said. “Julia and I have gotten together to practice the fitness, which is challenging and really intense. My mom has been helping me get outfits together. This is another experience I can write down in the books.”
The two young women plan to leave Sunday and stay with their host families in Atlanta before the program kicks off in Marietta Friday, July 26. They will join 21 participants from nine other local programs from across the state who will vie to become the DYW of Georgia and a share of more than $130,000 in cash scholarships. A panel of judges will then select one representative to advance to the annual National Finals competition held in Mobile, Ala. in June for the opportunity to become the DYW of America. DYW is a national scholarship program that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership and talent in young women.
We wish the best of luck to our fantastic participants. I am very proud of Julia and Kathryn and know they will represent Milledgeville and Baldwin County well,” Stone said. “Be your best self, ladies.”
For more information about the DYW program, visit www.distinguishedyw.org.
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