Lacey Gossett, the 2013 Distinguished Young Woman of St. Clair County, recently spent nine days in Montgomery with 51 other young women, vying for the title of DYW of Alabama.
Gossett said the opportunity she had was absolutely great and amazing.
She is the 17-year-old daughter of Tom and Debbie Gossett, and she is a senior at Springville High School.
Gossett left for Montgomery Jan. 11 to represent St. Clair County for the state program, held Jan. 18-19 at Wesley Hall, which is located at Frazer United Methodist Church.
For her talent, Gossett played the piano, and performed “Whitewater Chop Sticks” by Calvin Jones. It was the same piece that helped her win the talent at the local level back in June.
“Being at the state program was such a great experience for me,” Gossett said.
The eventual state winner was Jean Elizabeth Miles of Houston County.
Gossett’s roommate while she was at the state DYW was Emily Wise from Pike County.
“Emily was such a great roommate,” Gossett said. “We had so much fun. We clicked very fast. I was so comfortable around her.
“We talk every day, and she has become one of my best friends.”
Gossett was required to have no contact with her parents for over a week while in Montgomery. When the curtain opened and her parents were there, she was very excited.
“I just ran to them and burst out into tears,” she said. “I was so glad to see them.”
Gossett said it was an honor to represent St. Clair County at the state program.
“I was very nervous going into it,” Gossett said. “I was going in with high expectations of representing St. Clair County well. I was just doing my best.
“The experience has opened up so many opportunities around my community and county. This has helped me with social skills, speaking skills and life lessons in general.”
Gossett said she felt like her strongest areas while at state were talent and self-expression.
Once she graduates from Springville High School, Gossett will attend Auburn University to study nursing.
Melissa Adkins, co-chair of the St. Clair County DYW Program, said Gossett is a wonderful representative for St. Clair County’s Distinguished Young Women program.
“At the state program, Lacey was phenomenal in every phase of competition,” Adkins said. “Lacey worked hard to prepare for state and we are extremely proud of her.”
Kathy Soltis, co-chair of the local DYW Program, said Lacey has represented St. Clair County and the program very well.
“She has spoken at many city and county gatherings about our program and her experiences at the local and state levels,” Soltis said. “Lacey has also been a wonderful recruiter for our 2014 program. We will have our largest group ever to participate this year at our local program on June 15, 2013 at Springville Middle School.”
Distinguished Young Women, formerly America’s Jr. Miss Scholarship Program, is sponsored by the City of Mobile, Mobile County, Eastern Shore Toyota, Encore Rehabilitation, SPANX, Mobile Gas-A Sempra Company, Regions Bank, Alabama Power Foundation and Master Boat Builders. For more information about Distinguished Young Women, visit DistinguishedYW.org.