At approximately 9:07 p.m. on June 25th, 2011, my life changed dramatically. The final awards were being announced at the 54th National Finals of the Distinguished Young Women program. David Weincek began to describe the next award to be revealed: the Phyllis Whitenack Spirit Award. David explained that the Spirit Award was selected by the participants themselves; each young woman voted for the person they felt best embodied the spirit of Distinguished Young Women (DYW). I remember my heart beating slightly faster, hardly daring to dream that my name might be called. David looked down at his card of results and said: “And the Spirit Award winner is……. Ohio! Kinsey Crow!”
I started crying instantly as I tried to make it to the front of the stage without falling over. I was incredibly humbled and honored to receive the award, but I never dreamed the impact that the entire experience would have on my life. Prior to participating in Nationals, I didn’t use my gift of “spirit” and encouraging nature intentionally. I never fully realized the way that I can have a direct impact on peoples’ lives – even in a time period as short as two weeks. However, when I was chosen for the Spirit Award, I finally realized that the Lord had given me a very special ability in my “spirit”, and He wanted me to use it for the good of others. This realization is the most important thing that I have learned through my experience with DYW: that I have a voice, an influence, and an opportunity to bring out the best in others!
As my last blog post for the DYW blog comes to a close, I want to encourage you to remember the voice that you have to be a light to those around you! Sometimes we may feel insignificant and unknown, but the truth is that we have the power to make the world a better place by encouraging those in need. I am so grateful for Distinguished Young Women, which helped me to fully realize my potential, and I pray that you will realize how special your gifts are – and use them for good! As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” I hope that you will join me in striving to be that “someone”, making the world a brighter place, for the rest of our lives!
Kinsey Crow is a college freshman at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama majoring in Nursing. Originally from Mount Vernon, Ohio, Kinsey was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Ohio for 2011. Learn more about Kinsey here!