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County Distinguished Young Woman wins awards at state

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

Chilton County Distinguished Young Woman Ada Ruth Huntley won second runner-up overall, the self-expression award and the interview award at the Alabama DYW contest.

Huntley won $4,000 in scholarships and the opportunity for more scholarships through DYW at several colleges throughout the country.

“She represented our county well,” Elizabeth Huntley, Ada Huntley’s mother, wrote in an e-mail.

Huntley’s path to the state level included winning the county level contest in 2016 and attending various events leading up to the state contest. She spent the week before the event in preparation in Montgomery, where she stayed with a host family and Butler County’s DYW, Madison Ann Gaston.

“It really exceeded my expectations,” Ada Huntley said. “I was really anxious at first, but I gained a lot out of going. It’s really a blessing and humbling.”

During the event, Huntley participated in an interview, an academic review, a fitness and poise contest and a talent contest. She won the interview award, worth $800, and the self-expression award, worth $700, in addition to her $2,500 scholarship for winning second runner-up.

Huntley is a student at Chilton County High School and attends the World’s Church of the Living God in Clanton. She thanked her parents, directors Leslie Deavers and Kay Clark, Walter Hayden, her friends and her family for their “fantastic support.”

The state DYW contest had 50 contestants from across the state. Autauga County’s representative Lauren Chambliss was first runner-up and Shelby County’s representative Claire Kendrick was named 2017 Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama.