MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Distinguished Young Women of Alabama organization had Governor Kay Ivey as a guest speaker during their rehearsal for the annual pageant.

On Wednesday, Ivey stopped by to offer the girls in the pageant some words of wisdom before the competition starts.

It is important that we lay the groundwork now in Alabama for what’s to come, and that most certainly means putting a renewed emphasis on our young people. I am always encouraged for our future when I spend time with groups like Distinguished Young Women. These ladies, no doubt, are some of our leaders for tomorrow.”

Governor Kay Ivey

The 45 seniors competing in the pageant will have the opportunity to earn college scholarship money and one of the lucky ladies will go on to represent the state at the national program as the Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama.

According to the Distinguished Young Women website, it is the largest and oldest national scholarship program for high school girls and has provided more than 775,000 young women with more than $112 million in scholarships.

The 2022 pageant will be on Jan. 21 and 22, 2022 at the Frazer United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala.