You may be wondering, “Andrea, where have you been?”
And for once I actually have a pretty dang good answer (other than on the couch drinking wine and eating popcorn – that’s a good one too).
“Why, I’ve been bettering the young females of our community with my wealth of knowledge, perfect grammar, posture and grace.”
Well… it’s more like I’ve been working my butt off along with several other wonderful ladies to put together this year’s Distinguished Young Women of Post Falls program. This year I sat on the committee as the writer, photographer and the assistant-to-anyone-who-needed-it person.
But really, I don’t even know that I should be allowed to influence young minds, especially ones that aim to be distinguished. But it was really fun, I made some new friends and was incredibly impressed by the young ladies at Post Falls High School.
For those that don’t know, the Distinguished Young Women program (formerly Jr. Miss) is a scholarship program for high school juniors. They have to go through a professional interview, perform a talent, show that they can be poised and composed under pressure (while wearing a dress and heals), and perform a choreographed opening number while having outstanding GPAs and completing three community service projects.
For some who have experience in public speaking and performing, this isn’t that big of a deal. But to those who are shy or inexperienced in these areas (which is the category a good majority of them fall under) this is a huge departure from their comfort zone.
This year 15 girls completed the program. It was fun to help them with their interview skills and watch their talents, but I think my favorite part was seeing them grow and gain confidence in themselves. It takes a lot of guts to get up on stage in front of your whole community and be grilled in an interview by community leaders. But they all did it with a smile on their face.
I remember participating in Jr. Miss in high school and thinking it was going to be a stupid beauty pageant. And certainly parts of it felt like that. But I also remember getting to know girls that I probably wouldn’t have even met if it wasn’t for the program. It also helped me develop interview skills that I still use today for job interviews and in my job as an interviewer. It did make me realize that my talents are somewhat lackluster in comparison to others, but we can’t all be ballerinas or opera singers.
I’m so grateful that I was able to share this experience with the girls, I think I got as much out of it as they did. I’m also grateful to have worked with all our committee members. They are the ones that made this such a fun experience, and one I’m looking forward to next year.