Fail wins DYW title: FDA seniors Top 2 in program

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2019

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Fort Dale Academy senior Hayden Fail is the latest Butler County student to wear the coveted medallion and earn valuable scholarship monies through participation in the Distinguished Young Women (DYW) of Butler County Scholarship Program.

Hayden, who plans to attend the University of Alabama and pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist, took the title of 2020 Distinguished Young Woman of Butler County during the combined Butler County/Lowndes County DYW Program last Saturday night at the Ritz Theatre in Greenville.

The daughter of Murray and Mary Ann Fail, Hayden performed a lyrical dance to “Surprise Yourself” for her talent selection. She took the Talent Category Award, along with Interview, Scholarship and Spirit Awards.

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The new Butler County DYW is active in cheerleading, track, tennis and basketball at FDA as well as the school’s SGA. Hayden is also a member of the Frazer United Methodist Church Youth Group and a Studio Panache Ambassador. She is an advanced student at Sonya’s Dance and Fitness.

Hannah Sells was first runner-up for Butler County. Hannah, who performed a contemporary dance to “This is Me,” won the Fitness and Self-Expression Awards. She plans to attend the University of Alabama and study fashion design. Hannah is active in varsity basketball and serves as a water girl at FDA. She is also an advanced dance student at Sonya’s Dance and Fitness.

Bethany Ann Odom of McKenzie School won both the “Be Your Best Self” Essay Award and the “Proud Papa” Scholarship Award and was also recognized for the most “Best Wishes” signatures and donations. Bethany, who plans to attend Wallace Community College to become a physical therapy assistant, performed a monologue, “Just Having Fun” for her talent presentation. Active in the FFA and FBLA at MHS, she is also on the school’s yearbook committee and plays volleyball and softball. Bethany serves as a Camellia Girl for the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce and is part of the Brushey Creek Baptist Youth Group.

Also participating in the DYW program was Malaysia Smith of Greenville High School. Malaysia, who performed “Autumn Mist” on the trombone, is active in band, Key Club and Tri-M at the high school. She plans to study social work at Troy University.

More than $6,000 in scholarship monies, along with a $500 stipend for state expenses for the county winner, were earned by the competitors in the Butler County competition.

Lowndes County saw Helen Oglesby of Lowndes Academy selected as their 2020 DYW.  Helen swept the category awards in Fitness, Talent, Self-Expression, Scholastic, Essay and Interview.

Her talent was an original monologue entitled “Choose Joy.” Helen plans to attend Auburn University and become an orthodontist. A Senate Page, she is active in cheerleading and basketball at Lowndes. Helen is also a Diamond Doll and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She attends Hayneville Baptist Church and enjoys time spent with family and friends, trips to the beach and watching Auburn football.

Addie Hampton, a student at Lowndes Academy, was selected as second runner up. Her talent involved a display of her photography.  Addie, who was co-winner of the Spirit Award, is active in cheer leading, volleyball and basketball at her school. She also serves as a Page for the Alabama Senate. During her free time, Addie enjoys shopping, beach trips, swimming, fishing and spending time with family and friends. She plans to attend Auburn University after graduation.

A total of $2,000 in scholarship monies was awarded to the winner and runner up of the Lowndes County competition.

Distinguished Young Women, formerly known as America’s Junior Miss, is the nation’s oldest scholarship program for high school girls emphasizing the development of scholarship, leadership and talent to help each participant learn to “be your best self.” Since its inception in Mobile in 1958, more than 770,000 young women have participated at the local, state and national levels, with more than $110 million in cash scholarships awarded to participants.

The Lowndes and Butler County winners will join young women from across Alabama for the state program in January 2020 in Montgomery.