Tuesday evening marked a special occasion for Distinguished Young Women of Coffee County board members and supporters as the organization gathered to celebrate one of its title holders.
Kyla Mathner, the 2019 Distinguished Young Woman of Coffee County and Alabama, was the central focus of the send-off ceremony as she will be representing her county and state in the 62nd DYW National Finals in Mobile later this month. Mathner is the daughter of Robert and Dawn Mathner and graduated from Enterprise High School with honors in May.
Enterprise Mayor Bill Cooper was the first to honor Mathner during the reception, presenting her with a pin featuring the Boll Weevil Monument that he said is typically reserved for “VIPs.” Cooper also gave Mathner a unique gift that pays homage to the Boll Weevil Monument centennial and the Alabama bicentennial.
“This coin is for the bicentennial, and you are the first person to receive this,” Cooper said. “This is a beautiful coin that represents the city of Enterprise, all its people, and the struggles that were made to make the city what it is today. On behalf of the citizens of Enterprise, congratulations and God bless.”
2019-20 Coffee County DYW Chairman Helen Faught spoke of Mathner’s accomplishments in and out of the DYW program.
“We just want to say how proud we are of Kyla, to represent Coffee County in such a huge way and also to represent Alabama,” Faught said. “The day you were named Distinguished Young Woman of Coffee County, we knew that you were going to do amazing things, and just talking to other community organizations and lifting these other girls up… We’re super proud of you, and we know you’re going to do great things in the future.”
DYW State Committee member Debra Boyd was also present for the reception, stating that Alabama could not have a better representative in the national competition.
“We are very excited for Kyla to represent us, to represent Alabama,” Boyd said. “We want you to enjoy yourself, have fun, because you’re already a winner. Best of luck, we are so, so proud of you.”
Mathner spoke previously about her experiences in the county and state DYW competitions and expressed her gratitude to the DYW program for the difference it has made in her life.
“After being named Distinguished Young Woman of Coffee County, I was told repeatedly that I was about to embark on a once in a lifetime experience. I definitely never imagined myself being where I am today, and all praise goes to this outstanding program,” Mathner said. “I am so excited that I have the opportunity to continue my journey at the national competition. I can’t wait to meet the other 49 girls and witness their God-given talents.”
The Distinguished Young Women National Finals will be held June 29 at the Mobile Civic Center Theater beginning at 7 p.m.
Founded in 1958 in Mobile, Alabama, Distinguished Young Women is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls. During its more than 60 years of operation, the program has provided life-changing experiences for more than 750,000 young women. Last year, Distinguished Young Women provided $1.5 billion in cash and college scholarship opportunities to program participants at the local, state, and national level.
The mission of Distinguished Young Women is to positively impact the lives of young women by providing a transformative experience that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership and talent. National Sponsors are Mobile County, City of Mobile, Wintzell's Oyster House, Encore Rehabilitation, Alabama Power Foundation, Master Boat Builders, The Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation, Regions Financial Corporation, Evonik Industries, Jostens, and The Alabama Media Group.