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Distinguished Young Women take UNA stage

The annual Distinguished Young Women program will return to Norton Auditorium at the University of North Alabama in Florence Saturday at 6 p.m., and five from Franklin County will be participating.

“We hope they will have a fun experience while gaining life skills and showcasing their accomplishments,” said Katernia Cole-Coffey, who co-chairs the program along with Susan Hargett. “Participants hone skills such as interviewing and public speaking while learning to work together as a team, building networking skills and developing friendships along the way. Areas such as fitness, talents and grades are important in the Distinguished Young Women program.”

The DYW of Alabama website describes the program, which is open to high school juniors, as “part of a national scholarship program that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership and talent in young women.”

Franklin County’s contestants are Madeline Cooper, Gracie Davis, Madelyn Green, Sophie Hill and Victoria Tiffin.

Cooper, a student of Russellville High, is the daughter of Matt and Greta Cooper. “I can’t wait to gain many friendships during the program and experience all the other positive aspects of it,” she said.

Davis, a student of Red Bay High, is the daughter of Mitch and Marie Davis. “I wanted to have fun and make friends and learn as much as I can to give me stronger skills to help in all my endeavors as I move forward in life,” said Davis.

Green, of RHS, is the daughter of Kris and Dianna Green. “I decided to do the program in hopes of learning more about myself while stepping outside of my comfort zone as I try to win scholarships,” she said.

Hill, of RHS, is the daughter of Tara and Eric Hill. “During my time as a dancer at my studio, it has become kind of a tradition that most of the senior dancers compete in their local Distinguished Young Women program,” said Hill. In addition to the scholarship opportunities, Hill said she aims to “gain confidence, become a better leader, develop public speaking skills and make friendships and memories to last a lifetime.”

Tiffin, of RHS, is the daughter of Jennifer and Brian Pace and Jason Tiffin. “I applied for many reasons,” said Tiffin. “I hope to make many friendships while having fun and developing and enhancing skills to help me be more successful in the future.”

“The contestants are very impressive and have exhibited strong leadership skills,” said Hargett. “We hope a lot of people will attend the program culmination Saturday and support these hard-working young women.”


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