Young women prepare for upcoming DYW program

Published 3:23 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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A few of Lowndes County’s most distinguished young women attended a Lowndes County Commission meeting recently and took part in the process of government operations while preparing for an upcoming program designed to highlight and reward the dedication to excellence.

Participants of the Distinguished Young Women of Lowndes County program joined coordinator Hanna Thrower on June 8 at the commission’s regular meeting to request a donation to help fund college scholarships awarded to local winners. Carolyn Jean Forest, who is the Distinguished Young Women of Lowndes County for 2024, described to commissioners what the program has meant to her.

“All I can say is that it has truly changed my life for the better,” Forest said. “I built a network at the age of 18 years old. I was awarded a scholarship to go to the University of Alabama, and college is not cheap. Tuition does not cover everything. The scholarship money that ya’ll have donated will truly help to further my education.”

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Local winners like Forest compete at the state and possibly national levels. Because of opportunities the program provided, Forest said she met U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Enterprise) and an NFL football player.

“[DYW] is a great program, not just for leadership opportunities, but also for public speaking,” Forest said.

Thrower introduced commissioners to 2024 first runner-up Madison Hardy, who thanked commissioners for their donation which helped fund the scholarship which offsets the cost of her books and expenses at Tuskegee University.

The commission approved an appropriation of $2,500 to the program. Also present at the meeting were participants Riley Lane and Kayla Timmons from Lowndesboro, who will compete in the group’s program on July 27.

“DYW is a scholarship program for rising high school seniors,” Thrower said. “I’m very thankful for the money which allows me to offer scholarships to the girls in our county. I go into each school and offer them the opportunity to come and be a part and what I really enjoy is being able to offer them the opportunity to become leaders within our county.”

The program will host its annual event July 27, beginning 3 p.m. at the Ritz Theatre in Greenville. Participants will show off their talents and compete for scholarship awards.

Tickets are $10. For more information visit