Photo by Lee Cave/C Studio EMMIE PERKINS (second from right) was named Lamar County Distinguished Young Woman during the annual program at the Saenger Theater. Hermine Granberry, left, was second alternate and Kathryn Ann Thagard, right, was first alternate. Marlana Bullock second from left, was a category winner. Perkins will compete in the state pageant in Meridian during July.

Perkins wins county Distinguished Young Woman title


Emmie Perkins claimed the title of Distinguished Young Woman of Lamar County 2019 during Saturday night’s program at the Saenger Theater. One of eight contestants, Perkins earned the distinction based on her excellence in the areas of scholastics, interview, talent, self-expression and physical fitness.

“I have been working so hard for so long, so for that to finally pay off was just incredible,” said the Oak Grove High School junior. “I had the opportunity to share the stage with so many wonderful women. It was an amazing experience.”

Perkins, the daughter of Lori and David Perkins, said every aspect of the program helped to develop in her a sense of well-roundedness. Though preparing for the program certainly was not easy, she was able to grow individually and become a better person through her experience.

“I believe that sense of well-roundedness is so important,” she said. “The (DYW) motto is ‘Be Your Best Self,’ that’s something that definitely comes with being a distinguished young woman- being a good example for so many of what it looks like to truly be your best self.”

While Perkins worked diligently to prepare for each area of the program, she explained that the on-stage question was the most frightening part. She spent an extensive amount of time studying a wide variety of challenging topics in order to prepare for it.

During the talent portion of the program, she performed a vocal and piano piece entitled “Rise Up” by Andra Day.

Now, Perkins has her eyes set on the title of Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi, and is eager to compete in the state program this summer. In preparation for that, she explained that she plans to simply continue building the skills and values she has developed through her experience in the program so far.

“I am going to keep working hard to improve myself in every aspect of the competition,” she said. “I think what is great about DYW is that you can take all the skills that you develop throughout the local program with you to the state program and every area in life as well.”

The state program is scheduled for July 12-14 this year in Meridian.

To Perkins, being a distinguished young woman means more than holding a title.

“Being a distinguished woman is to strive to reach your full potential,” she said. “It means sharing the love you have for other people as well- with or without the title.”