Garner preparing to participate in state DYW

Published 1:54 am Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Andalusia High School senior Emory Garner’s past few months have been filled with hard work and preparation, but her time is here, as she gets ready to leave for a weeklong trip to Montgomery for the statewide scholarship competition, Distinguished Young Women. 

Garner won the competition in July and will face talented young women from all across the state on Fri., Jan. 18.

“I have grown up watching the programs,” Garner said. “I knew that it was something that I always wanted to do. Just the growing experience of doing this is worth so much more than what some people can understand.”

Garner has been honing her interview skills, getting in shape and playing the piano all to get ready for the competition.

“I’m doing a lot of interview prep and constantly keeping up with the news,” Garner said. “I’ve been going to the gym, running around town and I play piano all the time.”

She said that the fitness routine has been the most challenging part of the preparation so far.

“We got the fitness routine early December,” Garner said. “And I have been working on it a lot, but it is so fast paced and extremely jammed packed with stuff.”

Garner has also been working the piano keys since January. For the state talent competition, she will play “Moonlight Sonata” on piano, just as she did for the county DYW.

“I just make sure that I play every day,” Garner said. “And I have worked with my aunt, Joy Sowards, and she has been a phenomenal coach.”

Her mother, Becky Garner, has helped her the entire way, Garner said.

“We joke that she is kind of like my manager,” Garner said. “When I’m busy with things, she will try to pick up the slack and try to attend to things during the day. She has been such an encourager in every single category, and I am so thankful for her and her wisdom.”

Another big factor in DYW is how well rounded a participant is. Garner is heavily involved with several clubs at AHS; dances with Andalusia Dance and Tumbling Company where she also is a dance instructor; is a City of Andalusia Ambassador; and a volunteer for Comfort Care Hospice.

Garner will away from home for a week, and won’t be allowed access to her phone.

“I am really excited to not have my phone,” Garner said. “I’m just excited to get away from all things social media for the week and just enjoy being around new friends.”

She said that the thing she is looking forward to about the competition is making new friends.

“I’m definitely looking forward to making new friends,” Garner said. “I met a lot of the girls at orientation so I am glad to be able to see them again. I also met a girl who is going to be my roommate at Auburn next fall. She is the Colbert County DYW and I am really looking forward to seeing her again.”

Scholarship also is a consideration for DYW. Garner scored well on the ACT (32,) has a 4.5 grade point average at AHS, and plans to enroll at Auburn University in the fall. She plans to major in biosystems engineering and go on to travel to different third world countries providing clean water.

Garner is the daughter of Brad and Becky Garner.

Alabama DYW will be held in Montgomery.

• Preliminaries, Fri., Jan. 18, at 7:30 pm

• Preliminaries, Sat., Jan. 19, at 1:00 p.m.

• Finals, Sat., Jan. 19, at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets available online.