By Katye Brock
Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2011
Saying goodbye is never easy. Whether you are saying goodbye to your family as you head off to college—which I did last year, saying goodbye to someone you love (My Grandaddy)—which I did last month, or saying goodbye to a part of yourself—which I did last week. The point is: Goodbyes are just a part of life. I will be the first to tell you that I do not do well with change. It takes me awhile to get adjusted, and I always look back on what was instead of looking forward to what will be. As I was reminiscing on my time as Distinguished Young Woman of America, crying because I was having to leave all the wonderful people I had become so close to, a very wise and beautiful woman (who happened to be the Distinguished Young Woman of Ohio 2011) posted a bible verse that pretty much reached out, grabbed me, and screamed in my face: “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Kinsey’s reminder of Ecclesiastes 3:11 made me realize that we have beautiful seasons in life—seasons we may not want to end; however, we have to move on from these, cherishing the memories, in order to reach the next beautiful season God has lined up for us. I will always deeply treasure my time as a Distinguished Young Woman, but now I have realized that moving on may not be so bad after all. It’s important to remember those things we have taken away from those beautiful periods of life, and we must be forever grateful to those who got us there and supported us along the way. I am so thankful for everything that Distinguished Young Women has taught me, and I am equally thankful for everything it teaches to other young girls. The world needs more distinguished young women, and I don’t mean just the title. Girls, if you have not listened to one thing I have posted for the past year, listen to this: You are beautiful, smart, talented, and can accomplish your dreams. Don’t give everything to one seemingly beautiful season of life when you have so many more ahead of you.
So, while my time is over, I know with all my heart that I am leaving you all in good hands. Congratulations to Christina Maxwell of North Carolina! Ladies (and gents if you’re reading, too), this is an incredible young woman. I know she will lead you and provide much wisdom in the next year. I had the opportunity to get to know her a little bit over the two weeks in Mobile, and I have to say, she is a genuine, talented, joyful ball of energy that is going to represent Distinguished Young Women with all of the grace, poise, and confidence that is so true to this program. Don’t forget to keep up with the class of 2012 through the blog and Christina on twitter @bedistinguished! For all of you that read this, if you want to keep up with all of my shenanigans, feel free to follow me on twitter @katyebrock. It’s been a wonderful ride, folks. Thank you for your support of me and more importantly, this program. Believe in what this program does. I’ve seen it firsthand, and I hope that you can all see it too. I bid you farewell, friends! May God bless you and shine through you in the coming year. I may have just given up my title a week ago, but I’m starting to get used to my status as a Has-Been!
All my love, and remember: Stay distinguished!
Katye Brock is preparing to begin her second year at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee and is majoring in International Studies. Originally from Tullahoma, Tennessee, Katye was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Tennessee for 2011 and the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2011. Learn more about Katye here!