By Madi Beumee
Distinguished Young Woman of New Jersey for 2015
How DYW Truly Taught Me to “Be My Best Self”:
1. Be Brave. Hopping on a plane and traveling to Mobile, Alabama definitely taught me how to conquer my fears. It was the first time I traveled across the country, on multiple planes without my parents!
2. Be Spontaneous. Signing up for DYW was a impulsive decision that turned into an incredible experience. What was just an opportunity to earn a scholarship, turned into 49 friendships I will forever cherish.
3. Be Kind. When I arrived in Mobile I was nervous, fearing that the two weeks would consist of non-stop competition. Even during the “competition” aspects of the weekend, nothing could break the sisterhood and kindness that was in the air.
4. Be Grateful. After participating in the “Be Your Best Self” day, I realized how important giving back to the community is. In Mobile, I got the opportunity to work at the food pantry. Though I have been to and served at many pantries before, my experience in Mobile was something else. It was the first time I got to see the look on the individuals’ faces as I gave them their food. This moment made me realize how many basic things I take for granted.
5. Be Unique. Nothing was more important than truly being yourself during Nationals Week. I realized during that week that being “Madi Beumee” was more important than trying to fit some mold I thought existed.
Madi Beumee is a college freshman at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. Originally from Denville, New Jersey, Madi was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of New Jersey for 2015. Learn more about Madi here!