Mississippi's Distinguished Young Women from across the state met their judges on Wednesday night.
The 33 high school seniors are competing to represent the state at the national program next year in Mobile. The young women are judged on academic achievement, talent, interview, physical fitness and self-expression. They were treated to a judge's party at Squealers Barbecue in Meridian.
"It really just calms them down," DYW State Chairman Sid Wilkinson said. "It just lets them know the judges are there for them, and basically just want to get to know them."
Earlier on Wednesday, the young women served the community. They helped serve lunch at Love's Kitchen. The candidates were split into two groups. Half of the girls volunteered at Love's Kitchen Tuesday, while the other half volunteered Wednesday. Last year's winner, Mackenzie Ross of Lauderdale County, says service is one of the best parts of the program.
Competition starts Thursday night at 7:30 at Meridian's Temple Theater. The program also gets underway Friday night at 7:30, and the finals are Saturday evening at 8:00. Tickets are still available. You can call 601-678-2038.