TORI J. NORRIS/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
Saturday, July 29, 10 rising high school senior girls will take the stage at the Ritz to participate in the Distinguished Young Women program.
The titles of both Butler and Lowndes counties will named Saturday night as the two programs are going into their third year of participating together. The ladies will be vying for titles held by Madison Ann Gaston, Butler County’s Distinguished Young Woman and Dakota Callaway, Lowndes County’s.
Preparation for the program began in June. However, the week leading up to the program is strenuous. The participants began practicing and preparing on stage last Friday night and again all day Saturday. They have also rehearsed every night this week, with dress rehearsal being tomorrow night and Friday night they will have the night off to rest for a full day on Saturday.
Fifty percent of the judging takes place before the participants hit the stage Saturday night. Their transcripts are evaluated by a scholastics judge and they will have had an interview with the judge’s panel Saturday afternoon prior to the performance.
On stage, the participants will be evaluated in the areas of self-expression, fitness and talent. Then at the end of the night, a winner will be announced for each county.
This year, Butler County has 8 ladies vying for the title of Distinguished Young Woman. Representing Butler County are Elli Zorn of Ezekiel Academy, Janasia Johnson, Courtney Powell and Octavia Still from Georgiana School; Alyssa Lear from Greenville High School; Hannah Schofield and Amber Smith are representing Fort Dale Academy; and Lauren Pierce will be representing McKenzie School. Lowndes County participants are Sara Carlton from Fort Dale Academy and Hannah Rogers from Lowndes Academy.
In addition to the participants, the audience will also be entertained by the Little Sisters and the High Heel Boot Camp participants. The little sisters are rising juniors who are getting a taste of the program prior to being able to participate next year. The High Heel Boot Camp is comprised of girls in grades first through sixth. These girls have also been in preparation all week for the program as well.
The program will take place Saturday night at the Ritz beginning at 7:00. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.