Starkville's Musser competes in National DYW competition

Mississippi's Distinguished Young Woman Abigail
Musser placed in the top 8 and received a preliminary
Fitness Award at the National DYW competition at the end
of June. (Courtesy photo)

Staff Writer

Starkville High School graduate Abigail Musser represented Mississippi in the National Distinguished Young Woman competition at the end of June in Mobile and landed a place in the top 8.

Musser also won a preliminary Fitness Award, placing her in the top 5 in the Fitness portion of the competition. Musser received $3,000 is college scholarships in addition to the $9,000 she received at the state and local program.

She plans to attend Mississippi State University in the fall.

"I am planning to major in civil engineering with a concentration in environmental engineering," Musser said. "As far as my career goes, I don't know yet, but that's what I'm interested in right now and we'll see where it takes me."

During the national competition, 25 percent of the score comes from a 10-minute interview, 25 percent is from academics, 15 percent is from fitness, 20 percent is from talent and 15 percent is from self-expression, which is an on-stage question.

For her talent, Musser performed "Czardas" by Vittorio Monti on violin.

Musser said the most memorable part of the experience was the Southern hospitality the volunteers showed her and the other competitors.

"We had drivers that would pick us up in the mornings and backstage moms that would help us and gave us bags the that had anything we could need backstage,"

Musser said. "Everyone that worked with us was a volunteer, so that really stood out to me how much everyone in Mobile love this program and want to help out with every aspect. A lot of people took off two weeks of work just to help us out."

Musser said making it into the top 8 was her main goal for the competition.

"A lot of my friends and family came down, and most of my friends came down on Saturday. I really wanted to make the top 8 so they could see me compete," Musser said. "It showed that my hard work paid off, and there were 50 amazing girls there, so to make the top 8 was amazing."

On Sunday, Musser will travel to Meridian to the state Distinguished Young Women program to pass her title on the Starkville's Distinguished Young Woman to Lori Feng.

"These are two very outstanding young women who are positive ambassadors for our city and state and will be leaders in our community in the future, and they will help build future leaders as well," Starkville DYW Participant's Chairman Susan Keith said.

Musser said she wanted to thank all the volunteers and sponsors who supported her during the experience.