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Six girls win $500 scholarships at award banquet

The Delta Kappa Gamma Academic Award Program presented six young ladies in the community with a $500 scholarship each to help them further their education upon high school graduation.

The program, previously known as the Girl of the Year, had some changes this year that included giving the top applicant from six different schools the award, rather than a single winner.

“I think the girls got the same recognition and their families seemed to be pleased, and they certainly were pleased with the extra money everybody got,” said Carolyn Dunaway, co-chair of the program. “We’re going to continue it this way for as long as we can afford it.”

Before the program started, Annie Talton and Shaina Relph were chatting as if they had known each other for years.

But it turns out, they had only met minutes before.

“I love meeting new girls,” Talton said. “I feel like this is really unique to Selma. Selma has these programs that allow us to mingle and start and grow relationships with people our age from other schools who we don’t get much opportunity to be around.”

Talton will soon graduate from Morgan Academy and plans to attend Washington and Lee University where she is undecided on her major, but has an interest in mathematical business and art history.

Relph attends Selma High School and will attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the fall and plans to major in human resource management.

Relph said being selected for the award means a lot to her and her family.

“It really means a lot and it’s very humbling. You compete against so many other girls in this whole city, so it’s very exciting as well,” Relph said. “It’ll help me get to my goal of being in human resource management, it will go toward the financial needs that I have for college. I’m always wondering where the finances are going to come from for college, and this will help a whole lot.”

Talton agreed and said she was excited to be able to represent her school.

“I’m really, really honored and humbled by this award. I’ve heard about this program since my sister who is 7 years older than me was in high school. It’s just really an honor to be selected,” Talton said.

“The money will help pay for my education, but also the recognition of the award will make me want to work harder to continue to deserve the award and to keep up the hard work and make these women who selected us proud.”

Other winners were Lindsey McIlwain of Dallas County High School, Harvetta Mitchell of Keith High School, Kinsley Mott of Meadowview Christian School and Antonyah Dudley of Southside High School.