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Red Bay’s Holly Hardin reflects on DYW competition

“A tough week but really wonderful” is how Holly Hardin will remember her time in the state Distinguished Young Woman competition, held Jan. 10-16 in Montgomery.

Hardin, a Red Bay High School student, said much of the competition was a challenge, but it also boosted her confidence level.

“It was very rewarding,” Hardin said. “I was so nervous about my talent, but I really think that was probably my favorite part. I had so much fun. I almost felt like I was on Broadway.”

Hardin said her Friday interview was one of the most challenging parts of the competition.

“It was very political,” Hardin said. “A lot of the questions were … They were making sure you knew what was going on in your state. I’m really glad I got to experience that. I feel like it prepared me for my future.”

She enjoyed talking with the children at St. James Elementary School and hearing their essays about being their best selves, but perhaps the best part was the people she met there, including her roommate for the week, her host family, and even a potential college roommate.

“I met so many great girls. They were all so awesome,” Hardin said. “I got along with everyone. I miss them already.”