Pittman to compete in state Distinguished Young Women
After many weeks of training, many hours spent rehearsing and one night of performance, it is time once again for HeartLee Pittman to jump back into the spotlight of the Distinguished Young Women Program. According to the official DYW website, the DYW Program is a national scholarship program that inspires high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments.
After being named Crenshaw County’s DYW, Pittman could not believe the experiences she would soon partake in. While this was her first big victory in the world of scholarship pageantry, she was no stranger to the world of DYW. “I had my first taste of DYW the year before last when I was the little sister of DYW participant Ascia Brown. Ascia inspired me to give the program a chance; she knew that if I gave it a chance that I wouldn’t regret it,” said Pittman. “I would make lasting friendships with the other participants and the scholarships were a great opportunity.”
In order to prepare for her time on the stage, Pittman performed her daily tasks of watching CNN Student News to keep up with current events, dove into her exercise regiment for the physical fitness portion of the program, rehearsed her talent and practiced self expression question and answer sessions at home and at official rehearsals.
“I felt extremely excited that the judges chose me as Crenshaw County’s DYW, but I felt most honored to have won the Spirit of DYW Award, which was voted on by the participants themselves,” said Pittman. “All of the girls did a wonderful job and would have been good representatives.” Along with the Spirit of DYW Award, Pittman also received the Be Your Best Self Essay Award, award for talent and the Self-Expression Award.
The process of becoming the Crenshaw County DYW was not an easy road for Pittman, but through every experience she has come to enjoy the program more and more. Her favorite part of the program was getting the chance to meet and spend time with all of the other contestants. “I truly believe the DYW Program is one of the best scholarship programs, and I am so very thankful for the scholarships I have been given,” said Pittman. “I want to encourage high school junior girls to participate. Being a part of the DYW Program has really given me self-confidence that I never really knew I had.”
The Crenshaw County DYW Committee will host a send off for Pittman on Jan. 7 at 5:30 p.m., at the John Harrison Cultural Center. Refreshments will be served and everyone is invited to come and send her off as she represents Crenshaw County in the State Distinguished Young Woman Program. Anyone wishing to send cards or good luck wishes can send them to the host family Wayne and Lynn Blackwell at 1340 Old Park Row, Montgomery, Al 26117 or to Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama, P.O. Box 231180, Montgomery, Al 36123-1180.
Pittman is slated to leave Friday afternoon and will stay with her host family. She will have the opportunity to room with Anna Leigh Gibson, Walker County’s DYW contestant. Even though the thought of being away from home for nine days without her cellphone makes her nervous, she says this experience is one she knows she will remember for the rest of her life. “I know this is an opportunity of a lifetime and I’m planning to give my all as Crenshaw County’s representative. I feel honored to have everyone’s love and support,” she said.