“Most importantly, I’ve learned how to be my best self while staying true to who I am.”
That’s the assessment of Ashley-Sinclair Curtis as she reflects on the events of the past year.
Curtis has served as Distinguished Young Woman of Coffee County Class of 2020 since earning the distinction during the area program held at the Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center May 31.
Competitors for the DYW of Coffee County title were evaluated by a panel of evaluators in categories that included scholastic, interview, talent, fitness and self-expression.
Curtis was awarded the DYW Spirit Award and a $750 cash prize during the state program held Jan. 17 and 18 at Frazer United Methodist Church’s Wesley Hall in Montgomery.
“I’ve had an incredible experience,” Curtis said. “Ever since the moment I was named Coffee County's Distinguished Young Woman, I had been hard at work to prepare for the state competition. I've had to stretch like crazy because I am not flexible at all. I also have retaken the ACT a couple of times in hopes of boosting my score and gone to the dance studio a lot to run my talent.”
Distinguished Young Women of Coffee County is part of a national scholarship program that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership and talent in young women. Cash scholarships are awarded at the local level and over $1 billion in college-granted scholarships are available nationally.
Girls in the Class of 2021 who are involved in school and/or community activities, outstanding in academics, leadership, athletics or the arts and interested in earning scholarships for college are invited to attend a DYW of Coffee County information meeting Sunday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. at the Enterprise School of Dance located at 6 North Point Parkway in Enterprise. There is no cost to participate.
The DYW of Coffee County Program is set for Friday, May 29, at 6 p.m. at the Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center.
Curtis’s advice to those interested in participating in the program is, “Just do it.
“I'm not somebody who really ‘fits the mold,’ but I have genuinely loved every minute of it,” Curtis said. “Don't be afraid to put yourself out there—at the end of the day, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain.
“I've learned what it means to be a young woman, and a distinguished one at that,” Curtis said with a smile. “First of all, to God be the Glory. I would not be here without Him.
“I have grown up admiring all the county winners through the years and I have always dreamed of being the Distinguished Young Woman of Coffee County,” Curtis said. “Every day since I was named it I have literally been living a dream. It's still so hard to believe that my time is here.
“I hope that I can be a role model for those behind me just as those who went before me are for me,” she added. “This is the greatest county in the greatest state in the world. It was such an honor for me to represent my county and these great people.”
The daughter of Paul and Paula Curtis is an Enterprise High School student, a member of the EHS Wildcats’ varsity golf team and serves as vice president of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of Alabama and Student Government Association groups at EHS. She is a participant in the Coffee County Youth Leadership Program, the Scholar Bowl, the ASTRA Girls Club, Student 2 Student and the National Honor Society. Curtis also is a part of the Hillcrest Baptist Church camera crew.
Distinguished Young Women is sponsored by Mobile County, City of Mobile, Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, Alabama Power Foundation, Encore Rehabilitation, Wintzell’s Oyster House, Master Boat Builders, Evonik, Regions Financial Corporation, Jostens and Alabama Media Group.
The 63rd National Finals will take place in Mobile on June 25, 26 and 27. For more information about Distinguished Young Women, visit www.DistinguishedYW.org