Commission supports Distinguished Young Women, Calhoun park

Published 11:56 am Monday, July 17, 2023

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Distinguished Young Women (DYW) of Lowndes County, part of a national scholarship program that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership, and talent in young women, participated in their county’s government process Monday by attending a Lowndes County Commission Meeting. There, with the program coordinator Hanna Thrower, participants introduced themselves to commissioners and delivered a request and received a commitment for funding to help support the program which helps them earn scholarships for higher education, personally develop through life skills workshops, and make friends across the state.

“You guys have been our largest financial supporter for the last nine years,” Thrower told commissioners. “So, we are here again to ask if you would be a financial supporter to our scholarship program.” 

Thrower reminded commissioners that DYW inspires high school girls to develop their full individual potential through a fun, transformative experience which culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments by encouraging continuing education and providing college scholarships.

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“By encouraging and showcasing excellence in academic achievement, physical fitness onstage performance skills and the ability to see and communicate clearly by creating opportunities to efficiently inspire the lives of others,” Throwers said. “Because of donors like the Lowndes County Commission, last year we were able to award over $2,000 in cash tuition scholarships, and several $100 [awards] to each participant. With your continued support and sponsorship, we will be able to award our winner at least $2,000.”

Thrower explained that girls volunteer to participate in the program and, as coordinator, she works with local school counselors to encourage participation. 

Current Lowndes County Distinguished Young Woman, Harley Hooper, is a student at Lowndes Academy. Other participants attend Lowndes and The Calhoun School as well as Catholic High School and Alabama Christian Academy in Montgomery.

The commission voted unanimously to allocate $2,000 from the county’s juvenile funds to support the program. After discussion of whether the funds could be used for the allocation, commissioners volunteered to make the allocation through their own discretionary funds if necessary.

“We just want to make sure that [juvenile funds] are applicable to the situation,” said Commissioner Robert Harris. “We just need to make sure that is what we can give it out of juvenile funds. We’ll come up with something. We want to do it but we just want to make sure we stay within the law.”

As part of the commission’s consent agenda, the group also approved an allocation from Commissioners Joshua Simmons to the Calhoun Community Park. 

In other business, the commission:

  • Approved a $273,125 bid from american Detention Services, LLC. to repair and replace Lowndes County jail controls;
  • Learned from Tax Collector Roslyn Smith that taxes owed to the Town of Fort Deposit had already been collected;
  • Discussed a tax abatement request for a potential solar project known as “Day Trip”;
  • Questioned Lowndes County Emergency Management Director Rodney Rodulph about proper response procedures during a fatal vehicle crash and requested Rudolph determine if procedures were followed during a recent crash;
  • Approved changes recommended by county attorney Prince Chestnutt for the county’s contract with Avalon Consulting;
  • Approved the county’s contract to provide security officers to Lowndes County Public Schools; and
  • Heard progress toward repairing county roads.

The commission will gather for its next regularly scheduled meeting on July 24 at 6:30 p.m.