By Devin Kerns
Distinguished Young Woman of Oklahoma for 2011
One of my favorite quotes is from Robert Frost and it goes like this: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” As I write my final blog post for Distinguished Young Women, I can’t help but think that this chapter of my life is coming to a close. But I know in my heart its underlying themes will be prevalent throughout the rest of the pages of my life.
|Distinguished Young Women friends!
All sappy book metaphors aside, I decided to use this last post to reflect upon the year of my life post-Distinguished Young Women. I’ve moved to a different state and made an entirely different group of friends than I had in high school. I traded in small town Oklahoma for big city Texas. I’ve learned material in college that I didn’t even know existed in high school. I’ve been challenged – physically, mentally, and spiritually, but I have grown so much because of it.
I left the National Finals last summer with a feeling of utter amazement—it took a while to digest the experience with which I’d been blessed. However, it didn’t take long to observe its after effects. I became so much more confident with who I was and what I wanted out of life. Distinguished Young Women showed me that, in fact, I wasn’t unusual; there are actually girls from all over the country (at least one from every state, in fact) who are interested in the similar things that I am and who strive for greatness for both themselves and the rest of the world. For the opportunity to compete with young women of that caliber of character, I am forever grateful.
I’ve still got a long way to go. I still have moments when I think that the obstacle I’m facing is insurmountable. But that’s what I thought when I entered the Distinguished Young Women program at my local level (when it was still called Junior Miss), but I worked hard, and won. I worked even harder to prepare for my state program. And I won. A year later from that initial decision to try my hand at this little competition in my hometown, I was preparing for the National Finals in Mobile. Two weeks later, while I wasn’t wearing a medal after the confetti dropped from the ceiling, I left with a new sense of self and the world around me (with 49 new friends to boot). I had won.
Thanks, Distinguished Young Women.
Devin Kerns is a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas majoring in Communications Studies with a minor in Italian. Originally from Stillwater, Oklahoma, Devin was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Oklahoma for 2011. Learn more about Devin here!