By Sara Coates
Roxboro Community School (RCS) is proud to have 12 of its seniors competing in the Distinguished Young Women’s Scholarship (DYW) program this year.
The program for bettering young women will be held at the Kirby Theater in uptown Roxboro
next Saturday, Sept. 23. This year’s RCS participants are Madalynn Bailey, Jalen Blanks, Lexi Bowen, Jenna Clayton, Emmey Cobb, Madison Hicks, Anna Scott Lawrence, Elena Meiggs, Madison Satterfield, Joi Torian, Mollie Vaughan, and Cassidy Whitfield.
RCS seniors have walked away with the crown for the past three years. Havan Harris was crowned as DYW of Roxboro for 2015, Alycia Parker was crowned as DYW of Roxboro for 2016, and Catie Mooney was crowned as DYW of Roxboro for 2017. According to Satterfield, this year’s theme is “all about outstanding women that have paved their ways in the world.”
“Each of the songs that are in our program were created by powerful and influential female singers,” continued Satterfield. “My favorite moment during practice has been belting out each of the songs and dancing around like a goofball.”
Much like Satterfield, Cobb has found that “dancing in the wings at the Kirby and causing [her] fellow contestants to burst into laughter on stage,” has given her the most joy.
Many of the girls said that they decided to participate in DYW after attending the program in the past and falling in love with the idea of having their own chance to gain lifelong friends as well as new skills.
A few girls, including Bowen, said that their mothers played a big role in persuading them to take part in the program, despite their own doubts. Bowen wants others to know that she may have been too quick to judge the program and has decided to stick with it “to show young girls in the community that anyone can [participate] and be successful.”
Clayton added that it is important for people to understand that the “program is much more than what it appears to be on the outside,” going on to say that she would “strongly encourage” other girls to participate because the program “allows you to grow immensely.”
An interesting aspect of the program is how supportive the group is. “Everyone cheers for one another and there is always positive energy in the room,” Blanks said.
Agreeing with Blanks, Clayton said that she is “proud of how well [the] group has bonded” since there are so many girls involved.
Blanks then went on to discuss the joy she gets from watching others perform their talents. She said that being “able to watch everyone do something they are passionate about” is rewarding.
Torian joked that the hardest part for her has been keeping up enough energy for the fitness routine. Specifically “not looking like I’m about to die,” she added.
Whitfield, on the other hand, said that struggling through the fitness routine with her group has been the most fun.
Meiggs said that she has had a great opportunity to “expand on older friendships,” but is nervous about remembering everything she has been taught for the final performance.
“With all the pressure and nerves, I hope all the routines will be embedded in my brain,” concluded Meiggs.
Lawrence is hopeful that what she has learned during the mock interviews will prepare her not only for the program, but also for interviews when she applies for jobs in the future.
“Secondly,” Lawrence went on, “I hope that I become more comfortable speaking in public.”
In agreement with Lawrence, Bailey said that she is nervous to speak on stage. “I do not like public speaking very much, but I feel as if this program has well prepared me,” she concluded.
Each girl mentioned in some way how proud they are of themselves for, as Bowen said, “[having the] courage to keep going, even when things got hard.”
Vaughan said that she would advise future contestants to “get all the paperwork done as soon as possible instead of waiting [until the] last minute.”
Looking back on both the good and the bad moments that they have shared so far, each girl was eager to report that they have no regrets. Satterfield pointed out that “if anything, the past few months have reassured [her] that [she] made the right choice by deciding to participate.”
“I am both excited and sad for the final performance,” concluded Satterfield, “I don’t ever want this experience to end.”