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Hannah Schofield strives to be ‘best version of me’

Hannah Schofield is starting her senior year in high school this month, an exciting prospect in and of itself. This Fort Dale Academy student, however, has something extra to which she can look forward: serving Butler County as its 2018 Distinguished Young Woman.

She knew participating in the program, which demands much of its contestants in terms of scholarship, leadership, fitness, talent, poise and grace under pressure—in other words, the total package– wouldn’t be easy.

However, Schofield says she found it well worth the time and effort.

“While it housed many challenges, the week of preparation for DYW proved to be the most exciting part. New relationships bloomed–as did a desperation to improve not only ourselves, but each other. I considered that beautiful,” she explains.  An active teen who plays volleyball and softball for Fort Dale, Schofield admits that intense fitness segment was still daunting.

“Even though I am an athlete, the most challenging part for me was the fitness routine. Through a lot of determination and frustration, I overcame that challenge, I believe,” she says.

DYW week was hard work. But it was fun, too.

“I believe the funniest moments flourished from Courtney Powell’s uncanny ability to make everyone spontaneously laugh, the looks of shock when Hannah Rogers’s nose hit the ground during her perfect push-ups, and, maybe, my secret, sporadic dancing backstage.” Schofield smiles. “The most enjoyable aspect most definitely was the other girls—mostly because they laughed at all my jokes and weird shenanigans!”

She doesn’t fit into any cookie cutter mold of what a title holder should be. And that’s just fine with Schofield. 

“I do consider myself to have a very positive self-image, but not without due credit. Thanks to my loving parents, I was raised to believe in myself no matter what society shoves into the accepted spotlight,” Schofield says.

“I realize that I differ from the norm, and I completely embrace that fact. I love myself for who I am, and I return the favor to other people.”

Family—parents Chris and Julie and brother Chris (“Bubba”)–mean the world to her.

“I love my family. It is that simple. I depend on them. I tell them all about the blessings I receive every day, and they–somewhat–listen to me. They have my heart,” Schofield says with a smile.

“When I received the honorary title of Butler County’s DYW, my mom cried and my dad proudly laughed. They actually were more nervous than I was throughout the program. And they fully intend to support me up to and during the state program.”

Along with family, sharing her God-given gifts is important to Butler County’s new DYW.

Schofield’s heartfelt, powerful vocals earned her the talent award at the county DYW program.

“I chose the old folk/gospel song ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ to sing. It holds a dear place in my heart due to its representation of pure, human emotional turmoil,” Schofield explains, adding, “I always have, and always will, respect music that flows genuinely from the heart and grips people’s minds and souls.”

An active member of Grace Baptist Church, she also sings lead with Southside Baptist Church’s Zone 4:12 Youth Praise Band every Sunday night.

“I got involved with the Zone 4:12 Band during my sophomore year and have loved it every day since,” Schofield says.

Serving in a leadership position in the band and at school is helping prepare the young woman to be the role model she believes is part of holding the title of Distinguished Young Woman.

“I plan to exemplify not only all the standards presented throughout history by past DYWs, but my own as well,” Schofield explains. “For instance, I want to exemplify the Lord through my actions, words, and plans for the future. And so I won’t stop until I have become the best version of me that I can possible be. I am eagerly awaiting the opportunities that open to me as I serve as DYW.”

As for her academic future, she plans to graduate from FDA within the top three of her class and hopes to continue her studies at her top choice, Belmont University in Nashville.

“From there, I haven’t made any further plans because, in all honesty, it’s in the Lord’s hands,” Schofield says.

She has this bit of advice for anyone contemplating whether or not to participate in Distinguished Young Woman.

“Please don’t criticize yourself into not doing it. Each girl is gifted with special qualities that are unique to them. So find what you are passionate about and build from that. This program will be the best part of your high school career, so do it. Be brave. Take a chance.”