Gates makes top 8 at DYW

Vivian Gates, daughter of Dale and Cheryl Gates made it to the top 8 in the 2023 Distinguished Young Women competition, held Jan. 20- 21 in Montgomery.

The event was held at Frazer Methodist Church in Wesley Hall.

Participants came from all corners of Alabama to compete in the event. 

Gates walked away from the competition with $2,300 in cash tuition scholarships.

She won the preliminary awards in talent, self-expression and the interview segment.

The self-expression scholarship alone was $500.

“We are so incredibly proud of how well Vivian has represented Butler County on the state stage this weekend,” said Cheryl Gates, Vivian’s mom, through social media.

During her stay in Montgomery with her host family, the Johnston’s on Myrtlewood Dr., Vivian was not allowed to see or speak to her family. Vivian said the lack of electronics for a few days was freeing.

But she was easily spied by her family walking in the Inaugural Parade down Dexter Avenue on Jan. 16.

“We are so proud of her,” said Dale Gates, Vivian’s dad. 

After spending time with her new friends, Vivian was ready to get back home to her family.

“We are glad to be bringing her home,” Cheryl Gates said. 

The proud parents thanked all their friends and family for the support, prayers and well wishes their family received.

Gates said the experience was amazing and is looking forward to her future. 

“Upon graduation, I plan to attend Auburn University and major in Political Science,” Gates said. “I hope to continue my musical journey by playing in the marching band as well as the Symphonic Winds concert band.”

Gates gave thanks to her parents and siblings for all the support they have given her during her journey.

She also thanked her dance instructor Susan Andrews, for 12 years of classes.

“I was able to perform the dance and fitness routines with grace,” Gates said.

Gates is currently a senior at Greenville High School.