BAY MINETTE – Daphne High School senior Madeline Shipman has been named the Baldwin County Distinguished Young Woman for 2022. Shipman won the title as well as thousands of dollars in scholarships …
BAY MINETTE – Daphne High School senior Madeline Shipman has been named the Baldwin County Distinguished Young Woman for 2022. Shipman won the title as well as thousands of dollars in scholarships during the annual program, held Aug. 28 at Coastal Alabama Community College.
“It was honestly such a whirlwind of emotions: shocked, surprised and lots of excitement,” Shipman said of hearing her named called. “I came into this program just hoping for an amazing experience. I had my hopes that I could maybe win but never I would be the one they called as the new Distinguished Young Woman for Baldwin County. It was one of the most surreal moments I have ever experienced.”
Participants in Distinguished Young Woman are judged in five categories: scholastics, talent, fitness, self-expression and interview. Rounding out the top five included Grace Covo, first runner-up; Georgia Byrd, second runner-up; Katelyn Few, third runner-up; and Ashlyn Hudson, fourth runner-up.
Preliminary winners included Madeline Shipman and Grace Covo, talent; Madeline Shipman and Katelyn Few, fitness; Madeline Shipman and Georgia Byrd, self-expression; Georgia Byrd, interview and Be Your Best Self Essay; Ashlyn Hudson, scholastics. Christle Howard received the Bob & Sue Stanley Spirit Award voted on by her fellow program participants. Additional awards presented included Lillie Conner, top ticket sales; Anna Goeke and Christle Howard, top ad sales; and Madison Lyman and Lillie Conner, Fan Page.
The final day on stage was the culmination of several weeks of practices to learn the opening number, fitness routine and to prepare for the program. During that time, Shipman and her fellow participants bonded from the shared opportunity.
“I will definitely cherish all the friendships I have made. Meeting all these lovely, wonderful young ladies has been such a blessing,” she said. “We are all so similar and bonding together during this experience was so amazing.”
In addition to winning the title, Shipman also earned preliminary awards for talent, fitness and self-expression. For her talent she danced to “What a Feeling.” Shipman said she began dance at the age of three and it has “always played a huge part in my life.”
She said while she has studied several different types of dance, her favorite style is lyrical which was the type she performed at DYW.
“I love it the most because of the graceful movements and how there is always a story behind each lyrical piece,” she said. “Dance has really helped me become the person I am today.” Shipman attends class at Gulf Coast Dance Alliance and serves as co-captain of the Jubilee Girls Dance Team at Daphne High.
To those considering the program for next year, Shipman said she highly encourages them to just go for it.
“It’s such a wonderful experience where you learn so many new skills, meet some amazing new friends, and get to always remember a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she said. “I know it may sound a bit intimidating, but it isn’t in the slightest. You won’t regret it, I promise.”
For now, it’s back to school for Shipman as she also prepares to represent Baldwin County at the Alabama DYW program in January. She said she is truly honored to take on that task. “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and for what this program has done for me,” she said. “I am thrilled to be able to represent such an amazing county as ours at the state competition and hope to make our county proud.”