• 81°

Meet Butler County’s DYW

Katelyn Stinson has already made her mark on history. The Greenville High School senior is the first young woman in more than 20 years at her school to be selected Butler County’s Distinguished Young Woman after earning the coveted DYW medallion on the stage of the Ritz earlier this year.

At GHS, Katelyn is involved in the Key Club, Diamond Dolls, Student Council, Yearbook, serves as a Tiger Rep and has modeled for APF and participated in the school’s beauty pageant.

“I really love being active in my school and community and that has helped prepare for DYW along the way,” Katelyn says.

Treading the boards of Greenville’s historic Ritz since elementary school as a chorus member of the Greenville Area Arts Club’s annual musical fundraiser “Putting on the Ritz” has helped prepare the teen for being in the spotlight.

“As a former Ritz Kid, stage performances have always had a big impact on my life. I also grew up singing in church every Sunday; singing has always been a passion of mine and I plan to expand upon my vocal interests in college at the University of Mobile, where I plan to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner,” she says.

Being a positive role model and giving back to the community has been an important goal for Katelyn, she says.

“I had the honor of being Miss Greenville High 2019, which gave me the chance to speak and interact with children within our school system. I’ve also had the opportunity to speak at Greenville Elementary School  about bullying and how it is always important to be kind to others. And I got to read to Bright Beginnings and GES students during Read Across America Week,” Katelyn says.

“When I see a crown or a medallion, I see a chance to reach out and make a real difference within my community.”

Becoming your county’s DYW requires a strong commitment on the part of the participant, says Butler County’s current DYW.
“What was most challenging about competing in my local program was making sure I was 100 percent stage and interview ready. I worked continuously on fitness, interview prep, speaking, and talent,” Katelyn explains.

“It was early mornings and late nights preparing for this program. In the midst of it all, I was balancing my part-time job at the Nutrition Spot of Greenville and LBW dual enrollment classes, but once I put my eyes on a goal, I can’t stop until I know I have tried my hardest.”

On the day of the county program as she prepared for her 11 a.m. interview, Katelyn said she did not feel nervous.

“I was actually excited to show my best self to three people who know nothing about me,” she says.

As showtime approached, Katelyn says she was ready to take the stage with “a smile and plenty of confidence.”

“Win or lose, I knew I would always remember that day. It was the day I felt like my true self and I was able to show others who I really am,” Katelyn says.

The DYW state program in January 2021 will also be history making, but not in a way the Katelyn and her fellow county winners had hoped for.

“The DYW of Alabama board members have made the decision to go completely virtual this year. It was heartbreaking to hear because as a senior, my whole life has been changed. Memories that were suppose to last a lifetime I am never going to get to make. So I have decided to make the best out of the current situation,” she explains.

Katelyn says she is still excited to complete with “amazing young women from across Alabama.”

Butler County’s DYW 2021, who earned top honors in Talent, Interview and Self-Expression during the county program, says she is most looking forward to sharing her vocal talents with judges in January.

“Talent is my favorite part of the competition because that is where I get to show what sets me apart. My talent is a big part of who I am, and I am eager to show my love for Christ and music to the judges,” Katelyn says.