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DYW Emily Sims recounts experience at state

Fulfilling a childhood dream, Crenshaw County’s Emily Sims joined 45 other girls from around the state at the Distinguished Young Woman program this past weekend.

The Brantley High School senior explained, “I wouldn’t have wanted to represent any other county at state this week.”

After competing in the county level program, Sims has been looking forward to this “week of a lifetime” since the summer. 

Sims said, “When I won at county it was honestly overwhelming. […] I was so excited because I knew that there were only better things to come.”

At the county level, Sims received scholarships for the fitness, self-expression, and spirit of DYW.

Her week at state did not disappoint.

Attending the Kiwanis Club in Montgomery, meeting the governor, and participating in an oyster-eating contest, Sims made countless memories that she will carry for the rest of her life.

“My week in Montgomery was a week that I wish every young woman was able to experience. I built so many relationships and learned so many things about myself through these relationships that I will carry forever.”

The Distinguished Young Women Program is a national scholarship program recognizing young women across the nation for leadership, scholastics, fitness, and public speaking skills.

The program encourages young women to strive to “Be your best self,” by staying healthy, involved, studious, ambitious, and responsible. The program actively strives to instill these core values in its participants.

In Montgomery, the state program is a week-long event with practices and special events. During the week, the participants stay with a host family along with another county representative. This year, Sims roomed with Baldwin County’s DYW Madi Warner. Sims said, “Honestly it was a match made in heaven.” The two girls stayed with Chris and Melissa Amos, which Sims explained were the “perfect family substitutions” for the week.

“I didn’t just like my host family, I absolutely loved them.” According to Sims, the family helped the two girls everyway possible, from practicing interview questions to providing scrumptious meals. “They were there for us no matter what!”

Sims thoroughly enjoyed every portion of the week, but the snow day was perhaps her favorite. 

She said, “It’s hard to pick just one favorite memory for the week, but I would have to say the snow day. We were dismissed from practice and got to play in the snow all day.” Overall, Sims had an amazing, rewarding week. “I cannot wait to go back into my county and program to spread the word about DYW and the impact it has had on my life.”