Taylor wins Neshoba County Distinguished Young Woman
Maggie Taylor said the Distinguished Young Woman competition was a fun experience that took a ton of preparation, and she is looking forward to making new friends at the state competition in July.
“It was great to get up there with the girls I’ve become so close with and perform and see all of our hard work pay off,” Taylor said. “I want to thank my family and friends for being so supportive and the people working for the DYW program for bringing everything together.”
Taylor, a junior at Neshoba Central High School, is the daughter of Mark and Amy Taylor. She said her inspiration to be a part of DYW stems from her grandmother, Laura Kilpatrick, being Neshoba County’s first Junior Miss, along with her sister participating in the Distinguished Young Women program in 2020 and finishing as Second Alternate.
Taylor won the local Neshoba County DYW competition on Feb. 25. She won overall in fitness, overall talent, overall self-expression, and overall scholastic talent.
“We had practice almost every Saturday from the beginning of the year with things like mock interviews, on stage talent and more,” Taylor said.
Each contestant competed in five categories: Scholastic (25% of their score), Judge’s Interview (25% of their score), On-Stage Talent (20% of their score), Physical Fitness Routine (15% of their score), Self-Expression, and On-Stage Question (15% of their score).”
During the competition, Taylor played “Rondo Alla Turca” by Mozart on the piano for her on-stage talent, explained that people should be kinder to one another in her generation for her on-stage question, and completed a rigorous fitness routine all contestants had to follow.
Judges also reviewed Taylor’s school transcript which included her grades and any extracurricular activities she was involved in, on top of interviewing her before the competition.
“I felt pretty good about my interview,” she said. “The judges asked me a lot about my personality and got to see what I was all about and who I really was.”
She is headed to the state competition in Hattiesburg on July 15 and is looking forward to meeting new people and having fun.
“We have to stay down there for a week with a host family, and I’m really excited for the experience of it,” Taylor said. “I’m looking forward to going down there, making new friends, and showing people what I’ve got.”
Christy Barrett, program chairman for the Distinguished Young Women program in Neshoba County, said the DYW program is all about girls being their best selves, and that Taylor showed up prepared each week leading up to the competition.
“Maggie won the competition overall,” Barrett said.
Graciana Alexander won first alternate, and Samiyah Culberson won second alternate. Mya Willis won the spirit award, which is voted on by all the contestants.”
For more information about the Distinguished Young Women program, visit www.distinguishedyw.org.