It is time for another Distinguished Young Woman to pass her crown to the next representative of Franklin County. Despite the many setbacks due to COVID-19 the Distinguished Young Woman program is set for June 27 at the Dahle Fine Arts Center in Dayton open only to the contestants and their families. There Katelyn Oliverson will say her last goodbye and welcome the new queen and her court.
Oliverson has loved every minute of her time as Franklin County’s DYW representative. “Being able to represent Franklin County as the Distinguished Young Woman has literally been a dream come true, “she said. “The service that I got to perform and the people that I have helped, have genuinely benefitted from the time that I have spent, and that has been very personally rewarding.”
Like most of the DYW over the years, the state competition in the fall was a highlight of her time spent representing Franklin County. “My favorite experience as DYW was the week that I spent at state and the stage experience with my self-expression dress and performing my talent.”
In addition to find finding time in already busy schedules, COVID-19 added a whole new set of challenges to Oliverson’s final months as DYW. She and her court had to find creative ways to work around restrictions and deal with the uncertainty of whether there would even be a program this year.
“The hardest thing about our year was coordinating our service projects at times that six busy seniors could all be there every month,” Oliverson said. “I loved getting to know the girls in my court better. They were all so supportive in everything we did. COVID was a roadblock to many service projects, but we were able to work around it and achieve our goal of one service project a month.”
Her platform of “Be Your Best Self” was summarized in the following points”
· Be Healthy- Teaching youth about exercise and eating right
· Be Involved- Service to the community with projects every month
· Be Studious- Focus on academics and learning all that I can
· Be Ambitious- Setting and achieving big goals
· Be Responsible- Demonstrate high moral and ethical principles at all times, but especially as I represented Franklin County
After looking back over her year, Oliverson had some advice for the next DYW. “Workout every day to be ready for fitness and enjoy every moment of the year,” she said. “Serve and have fun every chance you get.” Oliverson was not speaking only of the competition or representing Frankin County but of life as a whole far beyond the short year allotted to her as DWY.
Branching out and trying new things has always been part of the DYW experience: new friends, new ideas, new skills and a new appreciation for so many people behind the scenes who work so hard to the whole thing possible.
“DYW enriched my life with a whole new set of lifelong friends from all over the state!” said Oliverson. “I also gained another whole new set of parents as I fell in love with my host family. I was shocked at how many different types of girls, with such varied backgrounds, could come together and enjoy participating in the same program with the same purpose.”
As Oliverson contemplates the bittersweet moment when she will pass her crown to the new DYW, she looks forward to all the things life has in store for her. “I am excited to move on to the next chapter of my life as a Huntsman Scholar at Utah State University where I plan to study International Business,” she said. “After having roommates at State, I am even more excited to live in the dorms and gain new friends from all around the world.”