BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
The 2022 Distinguished Young Women of Butler & Lowndes County Scholarship Program were selected Saturday, Aug. 21 at the historic Ritz Theater in downtown Greenville.
Mary Virginia Meadows was chosen to represent Butler County and Abigail Gluschick will represent Lowndes County at the state program in January 2022.
In all, there were four participants aspiring to win the Butler County portion of the program while Gluschick was the only participant vying for Lowndes County program.
For Butler County, the participating candidates were Kinley Woodard, Anne Kathryn Smith, Rhian Grayson, and Meadows.
Distinguished Young Women is a national scholarship program that inspires high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments.
Each participant has a chance to win a variety of scholarships provided by sponsors of the program.
For Butler County, awards and cash scholarships were received by Kinley Woodard for the Essay award $250 and Scholastics award of $300 and also first runner up in the amount of $1500; Rhian Grayson received the Spirit award for $250 and Interview award for $300; Mary Virginia Meadows received the Talent award for $300, Fitness award for $300, Self-expression award for $300, and Winner in the amount of $2000; Lowndes County winner Abigail Gluschick also received $2000.
Each participant also received a $150 cash scholarship from the Proud Papas scholarship fund. Proud Papas is a fund donated by fathers of former winners.
Judging criteria for participants are based on the following: Scholastics (transcripts and college entrance exams) 25%; Interview 25%; Fitness 15%; Talent 20%; and Self-expression 15%.
Starla Jones, who oversees the competition said, “We had a wonderful program with an outstanding group of young ladies who received close to $9000 collectively. We are grateful to all of our sponsors and local support. We are excited to have Mary Virginia and Abigail represent their counties at the state program in January. I give many thanks to all of those persons who came to the program to support these girls”
Rhian Grayson attends Greenville High School (GHS) and her college of choice is Lurleen B. Wallace Community College. She plans to become a sonographer. She is a varsity cheerleader captain and a 1st. Sgt. for the JROTC Tiger Battalion Drill Team. She is also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Key Club, Tiger Pride Marching & Symphonic Band, Southside Youth Leadership and Zone Worship Teams, Pilgrim Rest Dance Team, and Southside Baptist Contemporary Worship Team. For the talent portion of the event, she gave a vocal performance of ‘Amazing Grace.’
Mary Virginia Meadows attends Fort Dale Academy (FDA) and plans to be a pediatric hospitalist. Her college of choice is the University of Virginia. She is a Community Theatre-Ritz player and also a Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Camellia Girl. She plays on the varsity tennis team, dances with Sonya’s Dace Studio, and is a varsity football water girl. She is also an Eagle Representative and takes part in the Varsity Scholars Bowl, GACTA, Key Club, and is part of the First United Methodist Church Youth Group. For the talent portion of the event, she gave a vocal performance of ‘You Will Be Found’ from the play ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’
Anne Kathryn Smith attends FDA and hopes to be a registered nurse. Her college of choice is Troy University. She is active with ‘Putting on the Ritz’ and the varsity tennis team. She also is a Community Tennis mentor and participates with her church youth group, and is also a Camellia Girl. For the talent portion of the event, she gave a vocal performance of ‘Hallehujah.’
Kinley Woodard attends FDA and hopes to be an orthopedic surgeon. Her college of choice is the University of Alabama Birmingham. She plays varsity basketball and softball and is a varsity cheerleader. She is part of the Senior Beta Club National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. For the talent portion of the event, she played ‘Moonlight Sonata’ on piano.
Abigail Glushchick attends Lowndes Academy and her college of choice is the University of Alabama. She is the SGA Secretary, Junior Class President, and participates in the Jr. and Sr. Beta Club. She attends Lowndesboro Baptist Church. She is also a varsity cheerleader and basketball player, a Lowndes Academy Ambassador, and earned the Pin It Forward Award. For the talent portion of the event, she gave a vocal performance of ‘How Great Thou Art’ while expressing the words with American Sign Language.