Rhea County Distinguished Young Woman Winner heads to Cleveland
Dayton, TN — McKenzie Willis and friends were at Dayton Welcome Center on Wednesday afternoon for a send off as she heads to Cleveland for a week of practice before the State Level competition on July 20-21 at the Dixson Center on campus of Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.
McKenzie will be staying with a family in Cleveland with a roommate from the Memphis Tennessee Regional as she prepares for the competition. McKenzie found out after her win in Dayton that she would have to change her routine for the state level as they will be using her music for opening number at state competition. She was very positive about the change and feels confident about her routine.
I talked with McKenzie about her motivation for entering the Distinguished Young Woman Competition and about the upcoming state competition.
McKenzie said, “My mom was the one who motivated me to compete in the Distinguished Young Woman Competition as a way to get scholarship money and meet new people.”
“I was very surprised when I heard my name as the winner. I did the competition to build self confidence and learn responsibility. I did not expect to win. ”
“I was not one of the popular kids in school, so I was nervous about how I would fit it. As time went by we all become close friends and it was a really good experience. A lot of the girls, I did not know before the competition.”
“I still get messages encouraging me about the upcoming state competition.”
“Kyra Brady encouraged me about what to expect next week at practice and during the competition.”