"I'm very excited to be competing in the national program," Lloyd said Saturday, before departing for the national competition site in Alabama Sunday. "It's an honor to be Georgia's Distinguished Young Woman. I'm not necessarily nervous, I'm just going to do my best and represent Georgia to the best of my ability. I'm really looking forward to meeting the other 49 girls and getting to know them over the next two weeks. ... One of the best aspects of the Distinguished Young Woman program is the emphasis that they put on creating friendships with the girls and also giving back to the community.
"Over the next two weeks we will be volunteering with several children's camps and Girl Scout troops, along with practicing for the competition, and also some fun activities to get our minds off of the competition. I look forward to the trip because they try to make it fun for us so we can bond with the girls and not get caught up in stressing about the performance."
From June 23 to 25, the 17-year-old Pine Log resident will compete in the 54th annual America's DYW National Finals at the Mobile Civic Center Theater in Mobile, Ala. Along with the other contestants, she will be evaluated in the areas of fitness (15 percent of overall score), interview (25 percent), scholastics (20 percent), self-expression (15 percent) and talent (25 percent). Formerly known as America's Junior Miss scholarship program, America's DYW will disperse more than $125,000 in cash scholarships at the national contest.
"I feel like Caroline will represent her community and the state very well," said Myra Hufstetler, chairman of the Distinguished Young Women of Bartow County program. "She's very knowledgeable. Of course, scholastics is a big part, and she has the academics to back that up. She is a recent graduate from Woodland High School, from their [International Baccalaureate] department. She's a 4.0 student, who does very well. She's also very knowledgeable about the world around her.
"She's done a lot of interviewing with a lot of local folks and state people just to make sure she's ready to go. And she's gotten really high remarks from everybody, [saying] 'She's done very good.' So I think she is very well-spoken and presents herself really well and will do a great job."
Since February 2010, Lloyd's winnings at the state and local levels have totaled $8,800 in scholarship funds. A 2011 graduate of Woodland High, she will attend Texas Christian University in the fall to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in modern dance.
Along with highlighting a variety of her attributes, the DYW program has provided Lloyd a platform to showcase her dancing talents. As with her two previous performances, she will perform a classical pointe dance to Gavin Greenaway's "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" at the national level.
Regarded as a well-rounded student, some of Lloyd's current and past activities include: Advanced Company member at Steps of Faith Dance Company, International Baccalaureate student, Bartow County 4-H Club member and a participant of Woodland High School's dance program. Recent accomplishments featured placing second in the Georgia 4-H Project Achievement PA-Dance, attending Interlochen Arts Camp Ballet Intensive in 2009, and being named "Miss Woodland High School" 2009-2010 and selected for the American Ballet Theatre Intensive.
For more information about America's DYW and obtaining tickets to the finals, visit www.distinguishedyw.org.