Named finalist in DYW Woman program

R-S Central senior home from Greensboro
Feb. 04, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

Rutherford County's Distinguished 2013 Young Woman (DYW), Courtney Arms,was named third finalist in the 2014 Distinguished Young Woman of North Carolina program Saturday night in Greensboro.

Arms, an R-S Central High School senior, was named third finalist and received a $1,000 cash scholarship. She also received additional preliminary awards in talent and fitness with an additional $200 cash scholarship for each category.

Arms, the daughter of Christi and Joe Arms, is a cheerleader at R-S Central, enjoys hanging out with her friends and family and after high school plans to attend UNC-Charlotte. 

She said her week in Greensboro was one of the best weeks of her life. "I met so many amazing girls and made so many friends. It was a long and tiring week, but a good one," Arms said Monday afternoon at cheerleading practice. 

Her favorite part of the week was performing Friday and Saturday nights during the program. 

For her talent she performed a tap dance to "Let It Whip." 

"Although I was so nervous, it was so much fun being on stage," Arms said.

Arms said she has learned so much during her time as Distinguished Young Woman in Rutherford County.

"I have learned to be yourself, not to try to please everyone," Arms said.

Amie Sessoms of Forest City, the 2013 DYW of North Carolina and the 2012 Rutherford County winner relinquished her title to Taylor Hnatek of Wake County Saturday night.

Sessoms is a freshman at the University of South Carolina in Columbia where she is a McNair Scholar.

"Let Your Light Shine" was the theme of 2014 program.

"That is the true essence of Amie Sessoms," said program committee member Gail Strickland." "She is the epitome of a Distinguished Young Woman and has been an incredible representative for North Carolina. We were all so very proud of her." 

There were 20 contestants from across the state participating in the scholarship program.

As the 2014 Distinguished Young Woman of North Carolina, Hnatek receives a $10,000 cash scholarship to the college of her choice, the state Distinguished Young Woman medallion and an all expense paid trip to Mobile, Ala. for the Distinguished Young Women national finals to be held June 26- 28.

She is also the recipient of the Overall Scholastic Award which provides a $500 cash scholarship. In addition, she was a preliminary winner in Self-Expression, in which she received a $200 cash scholarship. All preliminary awards provide recipients an additional $200 in cash scholarships for each judging category. 

Amanda Becker of Pitt County was named first finalist, Constance Owl of Cherokee County was second and Arms was third finalist.

The North Carolina program is in its 55th year and has been providing scholarships to deserving high school senior women from across the state since its inception. The five areas of judging are: Scholastics, Interview, Fitness, Self-Expression and Talent. 

Distinguished Young Women of America is the nation’s oldest and largest scholarship program for high school senior women. During its 57 years of operation, the program has provided life-changing experiences for more than 700,000 young women including Diane Sawyer, former co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and now the anchor of ABC World News.