By ANGIE CARNATHAN
Starkville will name a new Distinguished Young Woman Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Lee Hall Bettersworth Auditorium on the Mississippi State University campus. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door.
Susan Keith, program chair for the Distinguished Young Women of Starkville Scholarship Competition, said ticket sales provide monies for the scholarships awarded to the top three finalists. In addition, scholarship prizes are also given in the categories of scholastic achievement, talent, spirit and physical fitness.
“Our theme this year is ‘Let It Shine,’” Keith said. “Music includes ‘Firework’ by Katy Perry, ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars and ‘Dynamite’ by Tao Cruz.”
Keith said entertainment will be provided by Mallory Pitts, the 2012 Distinguished Young Woman of Starkville and Mississippi; Brian Xu, pianist; and dancers from Academy of Creative and Performing Arts.
“We are actually choosing our Distinguished Young Woman of Starkville for 2013,” Keith said. “They represent the year that they graduate high school.”
Pitts said serving as Starkville and Mississippi’s Distinguished Young Woman this past year has been a remarkable experience.
“I cannot count the blessings I’ve been given and the opportunities to serve as well as lead in my community,” Pitts said. “I’m sad to give up the title of Starkville’s Distinguished Young Woman, but I am confident in the girls and so proud of each of them.”
Pitts said the process has been a learning opportunity.
“Being Starkville’s Distinguished Young Woman has taught me mental toughness,” Pitts said. “When I face a problem, I go into it headstrong and determined, knowing that if God is with me, then no one can stand against me.”
Pitts said the experience has also taught her other lessons such as the importance of her family and strengthened her relationship with God.
“The most important thing it has taught me is to love and truly trust God,” Pitts said. “When He completely takes me out of my comfort zone, He is presenting me with the opportunity to worship him through that and to show just how amazing He is.”
The year has brought not only lessons, Pitts said, but wonderful memories as well.
“Some of my favorite memories come from the state program,” Pitts said. “I really invested and got to know the precious girls there and have remained close to them. They are 39 best friends I know I cannot live without.”
Pitts said it is her hope to have been a good representative for Christ every day during her tenure as Starkville’s Distinguished Young Woman.
“If I only made an impression on one person, I pray that I impacted his or her life through the way I represented the program in my everyday life,” Pitts said. “I hope people saw God through the program and not Mallory. My goal this year was represent Jesus through this opportunity and give Him the glory in every situation.”
Pitts said she is sad to give up the title, but knows that the next winner will do a wonderful job. She does, however, have a few words of advice for the 2013 Distinguished Young Woman of Starkville:
“Enjoy this year, for it will fly by with a blink of an eye,” Pitts said. “It’s sad to say but also exciting to think this will undoubtedly be the best year of your life. And trust God, no matter what, giving Him full control of the outcomes in your life, and He will bless you beyond measure.”