By Máire Nakada
Distinguished Young Woman of America 2015
This past week was national Be Your Best Self Week and holy moly was it a good one. I was so proud of all of the Distinguished Young Women who presented the BYBS message around the US, each in their own unique way. I was fortunate enough to be able to present to the fifth grade classes of Kate Shepard Elementary School in Mobile, AL then again to some of the children at USA’s Children’s and Women’s Hospital. Each of the children pledged to be their best selves after they were presented with what it means to Be Your Best Self. There were students who wanted hugs and some who wanted to show me their special talents like jumping into the splits or showing off their good penmanship.
When you know you’ve just taught some bright individuals how to be their best selves and they immediately want to show you how they can Be Healthy or Be Studious, it’s a pretty great feeling because you know they’ve understood the BYBS message. I also had the fun opportunity of running in the first annual Be Fit 5k and Fun Run in downtown Mobile on May 1st. Seeing so many people out there with me being Responsible with their Health and getting Involved with their community was so energizing. The support from volunteers and family members waiting on every corner with water or excited cheers was something to look forward to during the 3.1 miles of running. Overall the event was a big success and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated individuals who work behind the scenes at Distinguished Young Women along with our wonderful sponsors.
Right after BYBS week was the beginning of my finals week at the University of South Alabama! I didn’t know just how fast my second semester of freshman year would fly by. I feel like I just got to college and yet here I am on my flight home to Alaska for the summer. Outside of the classroom I learned a lot about time management that I didn’t know before college began. I also learned how to go with the flow when things don’t go as originally planned. I feel more mature, wiser, and a lot more relaxed after going through freshman year. I learned to celebrate the little victories and appreciate progress no matter how small. I know that I can handle whatever sophomore year throws at me and that’s a great feeling.
The next time you’ll hear from me will be my farewell letter as the Distinguished Young Woman of America!
Until then you lovely people 😉
Máire Nakada is a college freshman at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Máire was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2015. Learn more about Máire here!