Harley Hooper competes for Distinguished Young Women of Alabama

Published 7:25 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Harley Hooper, Lowndes County’s Distinguished Young Woman for 2023, will participate in the Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama Program on Friday and Saturday at Frazer Church in Montgomery.

“It is an honor to represent Lowndes County in the Alabama Distinguished Young Women program,” Hooper said. “It means a lot to me to take part in something that promotes us to be healthy, ambitious, and involved. I encourage all young women to participate.”

Michelle Hooper, Harley’s mom, said the Lowndes Academy senior began the week on Sunday and is hosted in the home of Spence and Cesily Agee of Prattville.

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“’During the week leading up to the program, she and 40 other DYW [made] appearances in Governor Kay Ivey’s Inaugural Parade, as well as luncheons at the Governor’s Mansion, Kiwanis Club, and the Cattlemen’s Association. Recently, Harley was selected to host the 2022 Christmas Candlelight Tour at the Governor’s Mansion.”

Young women competing over the weekend event will be evaluated by a panel of five judges in categories of scholastics, interview, fitness, self-expression, and talent. Participants practiced and rehearsed all week without communication with friends and family except by cards and notes of encouragement.

In July, Harley represented Lowndes County as DYW and has worked hard to prepare for the state program, Michelle said.

She and other participants will compete for $32,000 in cash scholarships and over $2 million in college-granted scholarships. The winner will represent Alabama as the state’s Distinguished Young Woman.

Harley is active in sports and school sponsored activities at Lowndes Academy. She is the daughter of John and Michelle Hooper of Lowndesboro and plans to attend the University of South Alabama in Mobile.

On New Year’s Day, Harley joined fellow Lowndes Academy cheerleader Molly Powell and other varsity All-American cheerleaders from across the nation to perform in a London New Year’s Day Parade at Piccadilly Square and helped raise more than £2 million for London charities.

On Friday, Harley will present her talent performance and on Saturday, she will compete in categories of self-expression and fitness. Final competitions are scheduled for Saturday evening.

Tickets may be purchased at al.distinguishedyw.org and may be ordered separately or as a weekend pass.