Hooper wins the essay contest at the Distinguished Young Women of Alabama competition
Published 12:27 p.m. Wednesday 25 January 2023
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Harley Hooper, Distinguished Young Woman of Lowndes County for 2023, won the “Be Your Best Self” essay contest and earned $200 during the Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama program, held January 20-21 at Frazer Church in Montgomery took place.
“It’s an honor to represent Lowndes County in the Alabama Distinguished Young Women program,” said Hooper. “It means a lot to me to take part in something that encourages us to be healthy, ambitious and committed. I encourage all young women to participate.”
Michelle Hooper, Harley’s mother, said the Lowndes Academy senior began weeks of preparation for the event on Jan. 15 and was a guest at Spence and Cesily Agee’s home in Prattville.
“In the week leading up to the program, she and 40 other DYW [made] Appearances at Governor Kay Ivey’s inaugural parade, as well as luncheons at the Governor’s Mansion, the Kiwanis Club and the Cattlemen’s Association,” said Michelle. “Recently, Harley was selected to host the 2022 Christmas Candlelight Tour at the Governor’s Mansion.”
Young women from across the state competed during the weekend event and were judged by a five-person panel in the categories of scholasticism, interview, fitness, self-expression and talent. Participants practiced and rehearsed all week with no communication with friends and family except through cards and encouraging notes.
In July, Harley represented Lowndes County as the DYW and has been working hard to prepare for the state program, Michelle said.
She and other participants applied for $32,000 in cash scholarships and over $2 million in college scholarships. The winner, Carrington Hodge of Helena, will represent Alabama as the state’s Distinguished Young Woman for 2023.
On New Year’s Day, Harley joined Lowndes Academy cheerleader Molly Powell and other all-American cheerleaders from across the country to perform at a London New Year’s Parade in Piccadilly Square and helped raise more than £2million for London charities.
Harley received $2,600 in awards from Distinguished Young Women in 2022.
Harley is active in athletic and school-sponsored activities at Lowndes Academy. She is the daughter of John and Michelle Hooper from Lowndesboro and plans to attend the University of South Alabama at Mobile.