Program helped Yant’s confidence

Published 12:03 am Saturday, July 18, 2015

Reigning Covington County Distinguished Young Woman Alli Yant said giving up her title is bittersweet, but said the program has shaped her life forever.

Outgoing DYW Alli Yant said the year taught her a lot.| Courtesy photo

Outgoing DYW Alli Yant said the year taught her a lot.| Courtesy photo

Yant said after winning at the local level last year, she had the opportunity to go to state in January.

“It was a little intimidating,” she said. “But it helped me step out of my comfort zone. I got to meet girls that I have never met, and I’ve met some of my best friends and we still keep in contact.”

Participants in the DYW program compete in scholastics, interview, talent, fitness and self-expression.

Yant said interview prep, speaking on stage and how to present herself were some of the main things she took away from the program.

“Before this program, I would not have been able to speak in front of large crowds,” she said. “This enables me to be able to do things I wouldn’t have before.”

Yant said the experience is unlike anything else.

“You get to interact with others in the county and state,” she said. “At the local level, I think we all grew so close in only a week. That’s one of my favorite memories. At state, it was amazing how supportive everyone was of one another. We were all in it together. It wasn’t about winning.”

At the state level, Yant won self-expression and fitness.

“I did not expect it,” she said. “That was a very good surprise. I wasn’t expecting to take home anything.”

Yant said she’s sad to now officially be a “has been.”

“I’m very excited about passing on the torch to someone new and supporting her at state next year,” she said. “This year has been completely worthwhile and I would encourage anyone thinking of participating in the program to do so.”

Yant said participating as a Little Sister is a good way to learn more about the program. The Little Sister program is for rising juniors. The local program has also launched a Distinguished Darlings program for girls 8-12.

Yant is headed to Auburn in the fall to study pre-pharmacy.

“I hope to go on to pharmacy school,” she said.

She is the daughter of Beverly and Jim Yant.