Orientation Day, Family Night Kick Off 2015 DYW of Mississippi Competition

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Meridian, Miss. Sunday was orientation day for the contestants taking part in the 2015 Distinguished Young Women competition.

Girls from around the state of Mississippi gathered at the Northeast Conference Center on Highway 11 and 80 in Meridian on Sunday afternoon. Organizers say it was a chance for the 35 contestants to get a handle on what they will be doing this coming week.

"Tonight, Sunday night, the girls get to know their host family and their brothers and sisters and all, and we're having a post-family party at the park here in town," according to Sid Wilkinson, state program chairman. "They'll eat with their families and get to know them and then go have fun with them and bond with them and things of that nature."

"To know the other girls as much as possible because in the end, no matter what happens, it's about the relationship she makes with other people you meet because you'll remember them for years to come and you'll probably never forget this when you're 60 years old, like I don't ever remember," 2014 DYW of Mississippi winner Peryn Reeves-Darby says.

The 2015 Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi competition begins Thursday night at the Temple Theater.