Sarah Beth Huntley named DYW of Chilton County

Published 11:47 am Thursday, August 1, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

Sarah Beth Huntley was named the 2020 Distinguished Young Woman of Chilton County during the recent scholarship competition.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity, and I am grateful to all the people who helped me prepare,” Huntley said. “I’m grateful to my God for blessing me with this opportunity. I hope to make Chilton County proud in January.”

She will compete in the state competition Jan. 17-18, 2020.

Huntley received $1,500 for winning first place, and additional scholarships for winning the interview ($400), scholastic ($400), self-expression ($300), talent ($350) and Be Your Best Self ($150) categories.

The Be Your Best Self category was an essay contest.

“The competition itself was a lot of fun, and the girls I competed with were really cool … It was good to get to know them a bit better,” Huntley said.

Chilton County girls compete in the local level the summer before their senior year of high school.

“It was really a challenge,” Huntley said. “I have never done anything that even comes close to DYW and how much I had to put into it.”

She said she spent several afternoons practicing her talent and her portion of the fitness routine.

For the talent portion of the competition, Huntley played the piano.

She said the fitness portion was the most challenging for her and all of the participates.

“It was three minutes of just straight cardio,” Huntley said. “Then we had to do our individuals.”

She said her favorite portion of the competition was interview.

“I have always loved interview,” Huntley said. “I love sharing with the judges who I am and answering their questions. I would say it’s one of the best interviews that I’ve had.”

The interview also included questions about current events.

Huntley said this was a good preparation for the state level. She is also working to stay in shape for the fitness portion, continuing to practice her talent and getting coaching for the interview portion.

Huntley’s current plan is to use the scholarship money toward attending Vanderbilt University or New York University. She said each of the schools are “very selective, so just getting in would be a feat in itself but DYW is really going to help me with procuring those scholarships, so I can go to the school I want to go to.”

She plans to major in creative writing and film/video studies with double minors in theater and political science.

Huntley said her sister competed in the scholarship contest in 2017.

“I remember going to the program for years, so I just kind of grew up knowing that I was going to do it,” Huntley said.

During the next year, Huntley will also be participating in community service projects and speaking to students about the Be Your Best Self platform as the DYW of Chilton County.

Be Your Best Self encourages students to be healthy, studious, ambitious, responsible and involved in the community.

“I started a kindness curriculum through the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation at the (Clanton) intermediate school last year,” Huntley said.

She hopes to continue the program and offer it in more classrooms this year.