Samina Abdullah, Iowa
Although I didn’t love having to hit the snooze button at 5:45 a.m., I did have a lot of fun at my radio interview this morning on the one and only Uncle Henry show. My roommates and I learned from Uncle Henry that he wakes up at 3 a.m. every day in order to be on the air at 5 a.m. After discovering this, I decided my Distinguished Young Women schedule wasn’t THAT bad after all.
Next, we drove to the Mobile Civic Center for rehearsals. My roommates and I happened to arrive half an hour early so we decided to use our time wisely by taking a quick power nap. Let me tell you, those may have been the most well spent thirty minutes of my day. Soon after waking up from my refreshing nap, we jumped right into rehearsal – and not just any rehearsal, but fitness rehearsal. Even though fitness rehearsal is something every Distinguished Young Women dreads, I felt surprisingly good about my performance this morning. I already felt the adrenaline of being on stage and the excitement of our rapidly approaching show coursing through my body. Following each group’s performance of fitness, we began running each girl’s talent. With each performance, I was even more amazed at what a talented group of ladies we have this year. Along with that, I cannot fail to mention the diversity of talents within our group. We have singers, dancers, gymnasts, harpists, pianists, and even a contortionist. I already know we are going to have a stellar show.
After half of the girls rehearsed their talent, it was time for lunch! We all had a wonderful lunch sponsored by the Lions Club. I had the privilege of enjoying my lunch at a table with the three most darling girls in the room. They were nine, eight, and four years old. I had a great time laughing with them and chatting with their father. Sadly, our lunch time had come to an end. However, instead of going back to rehearsal, all of the Distinguished Young Women got to meet our lovely judges! Just from hearing their bios, I could tell that these women embodied the excellence promoted in this program. They are all inspiring women who are very successful in their careers. They are beautiful on the inside and the outside. They exude intelligence. Although my description makes them sound incredibly intimidating, they seemed like such approachable, friendly people at the same time. The Distinguished Young Women got to have a Q &A session with the judges and promptly the first set of interviews commenced. It hit me that competition had officially begun. In the meanwhile, the rest of us continued rehearsing talents. It was finally my turn to perform my talent. It felt so good to dance and show my new DYW friends what I love to do while on the grand Mobile Civic Center stage. The whole time I never felt nervous or uncomfortable because of the constant support and cheers I received from the crowd of my DYW sisters. After talent and before dinner, I will admit that I slipped a few Krispy Kreme donuts from the backstage area. I was advised by a past DYW to eat all the Krispy Kreme I want, so I plan to take her advice and harbor no regrets.
Lastly, I was so excited to attend our Sponsors dinner at Azalea Manor. I enjoyed getting to know the people who support our program. I know that Distinguished Young Women would not be possible without each and every one of their help. With that said, I am most glad I had the opportunity to thank the sponsors for giving us these amazing opportunities. I think it is important that I recognize the chef for delicious dinner of pickled shrimp, orange chicken, creamy pasta, and my first beignet ever; though it’s a tough call, I believe it was best meal I have had in Mobile so far. However, it seems like each successive meal gets better and better! Similar to the food, the people I have met here in Mobile taken over a big place in my heart. I know this is an experience I will never forget. After a tiring day, I come to my host home greeted by my sweet host mom, loving host dad, and a fresh pot of boiled peanuts for me to try.