Elizabeth Graham and Justine Ray: Distinguished Young Women of Macon County

By Elizabeth Givens

Distinguished Young Women is a scholarship program that is made up of competitions at the county, state, and national levels. It seeks to encourage and reward scholarship, leadership, and talent. As you already know if you have read this blog before, the students of Macon County that we work with exemplify these things. Because of that I was excited to attend the Distinguished Young Women of Macon County program this past Saturday at Booker T. Washington High School. The program consists of talent, fitness, and self-expression portions with part of the girls’ scores coming from scholastics and an interview which takes place before the program.

Two girls who are very involved with the Bridge Builders/Auburn University mentoring program participated in Distinguished Young Women. These girls, Elizabeth Graham and Justine Ray are particularly special to me as I was their mentor last year. They are both wonderful examples of scholarship, leadership, and talent, so it was exciting to see them take this opportunity to show that. They both had some killer jumping jacks and push ups during the fitness portion of the competition. Justine sang “Joyful, Joyful” by Lauren Hill for her talent and Elizabeth recited a poem called “Life Can Be Ungrateful.” They both had well thought out, articulated answers during the self-expression segment. Although neither Justine nor Elizabeth were chosen as the Distinguished Young Woman of 2013, they are both shining examples of the scholarship, talent, and leadership that exists in Macon County.

Both girls are unique, driven, kind leaders and representatives of their families, schools, and community. When I asked the girls about the program, Justine said she liked being a part of the program because you get to meet new people, have scholarship opportunities, and gain experience. Elizabeth said that the program was inspirational to her. She specifically liked how they talked about ups and downs in life.

It was exciting to see how Distinguished Young Women of Macon County is another program that this county is using to bring out and encourage excellence in their young people. I am so glad I could come support these two sweet girls and the six other Distinguished Young Women from the class of 2013. They did a wonderful job!


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