Get To Know Susannah Cowley, Distinguished Young Woman of Arizona 2017

Distinguished Young Women Bellingrath Gardens Visit 2017.
Distinguished Young Women Bellingrath Gardens Visit 2017.

Name: Susannah Cowley

Age: 17 (I will finally be 18 by the time this is published!)

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

College: Brigham Young University

Major: Spanish on the Pre-Dental track

Minor: Music


Favorite food: Cereal of any kind, especially Wheat Chex or Froot Loops. I definitely would recommend cereal as a late night study snack, or really as an any time, any day kind of thing.

Favorite movie: You Again- My little sisters and I have watched this movie too many times to count and every time it still makes me laugh just as hard as the first time I saw it!

Favorite Olympic sport: Ice skating, because I love to pretend that I am coordinated enough to be an ice princess like the incredible skaters instead of embracing the reality that every time I go ice skating I focus 100% of my energy on not falling as opposed to being graceful.

Current #1 most played song on your iPod: I am a music-of-all-kinds junkie, but at the moment, most of my spent listening to music is dominated by listening to my Music 101 playlist that is used for our music recognition tests …oh and Taylor Swift.

Favorite time of day: Being from Arizona, there is no better time in the desert than sunset.  The colors are simply breathtaking, and it doesn’t hurt

Favorite time of year: Christmas time!  I’ll take any excuse to listen to the Ariana Grande and Michael Buble Christmas albums, and there’s something special about seeing the world lit up everywhere you go.  I firmly believe that the holiday season brings out the best in everyone, and so many people are looking for ways to lift up and bring joy to others.


Plan ahead OR procrastinate: Plan ahead, I have learned the hard way.

Paper OR plastic: Plastic

Glass half-full OR glass half-empty: Half full, it makes for a happier life!

Introvert OR extrovert: Extrovert, sometimes to a fault.  However, as I have grown older I have learned the value of spending time alone and getting to know yourself in addition to getting to know others.

Cats OR Dogs: Kitties are cute, but my allergies have gotten in the way of my truly enjoying them, so definitely dogs!

Morning person OR night person: Morning!  All through high school I ran cross country at 5 am, and I firmly believe some of the most precious and beautiful moments happen early in the morning (including the sunrise)!  Have I maintained my early bird habits in college?  That’s another discussion…


What is your most embarrassing moment? I have more than I would care to admit, but one of my very favorites is kind of an ongoing embarrassing moment.  When I was in fourth grade I attended a string quartet camp, and we were on break from our rehearsal.  Naturally, my friend and I decided to play tag in the parking lot, and I fell on my face and completely biffed it!  My knees were pretty torn up, and the fall left scars that have followed me and are still there to this day.  Fast forward to my time in middle and high school as a hurdler.  I can’t count how many times someone has asked me about my scars and asked if they were from hurdling, and it is always a little embarrassing to explain that they were actually not from jumping over obstacles while running, but rather from violin camp!  

If you could be any color crayon, what would you be and why? Yellow!  The color yellow just screams sunshine and joy to me, and although I am far from perfect at it, I try to be someone who scatters sunshine to everyone I come in contact with.  

What would I find in your refrigerator right now? Pudding (I believe it to be one of the finer things in life, and even better, it was on sale which satisfied my college student budget, so what’s not to love?!), applesauce, and chocolate-covered strawberries (my roommate works at a chocolate shop and gets to bring home the extras they don’t sell once a week, and since there is fruit underneath the chocolate I can tell my mom I am getting my fruit servings!).  Don’t worry, I also have a meal plan so luckily my refrigerator contents do not make up my entire diet.

What is your biggest fear? Murky water.  I love aquatic animals, and otters are my favorite animals

Sum yourself up in three words. Observant, kind, positive.

What do you want to be when you grow up and why?  A few summers ago, I traveled Polochic region of Guatemala on a humanitarian trip with a group called Family Humanitarian Experience.  Our group included several doctors, nurses, and dentists who set up clinics in the different villages we visited, and after spending a day shadowing and seeing these medical professionals at work, I decided I wanted to do the same in some capacity.  I am not too big on blood and guts, and as of now I plan to become a dentist.  Someday I hope to work with an organization such as Doctors Without Borders or to travel with a group like Family Humanitarian Experience to bring medical relief to regions of the world where people do not have access to the care they need.  


Describe your single-most favorite moment from your Distinguished Young Women experience.


It is so hard to pinpoint a single moment as my favorite, but I will always fondly remember the Finals Night Performance on our last night of Nationals.  We were all SO tired from two action-packed weeks, but it finally dawned on each of us that this was our last night together!  As part of our performance we sang the song “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper, and as I stood onstage with my fellow participants as we were welcomed into the DYW alumna family, I truly felt an overwhelming essence of sisterhood and love emanating from all directions.  We cared deeply about and supported one another and had truly grown to be family during our time in Mobile, and the prospect of that experience ending was daunting and surreal.  I remember not being able to sing the song through my tears, and thinking back on all of the blessings DYW had brought to me up to that point.  No money or award I had won could come even remotely close to the gift of friendship and comradery that I had found during my DYW experience at both the State and National levels.  Although this moment was a little sad, it truly was the pinnacle of all the laughs, lessons, and love that we had shared throughout our time together.  I would give anything to go back to that night and to be with 50 of my favorite girls in the world, so for anyone participating in the DYW program at any level, do not let the little moments pass you by!  DYW brought me friends who feel like family and with whom I still keep in touch.  I feel so blessed to have been a part of this program!



Post a comment

Enter your email address to subscribe.

National Sponsors