MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Distinguished Young Women Program is back in person, after two years of a virtual program. The program will celebrate its 65th National Finals competition at 7 p.m. on June 24 and 25 at the Mobile Civic Center Theater. June 23rd was the first night of the Preliminary competition.

WKRG’s Devon Walsh caught up with the young women as they were rehearsing the fitness routine. They are thrilled the competition is back in person.

“My state and local programs were both virtual, and so this is the first time I am performing something live. I love performing live and hearing the cheering of the crowd,” Georgia’s Mya Moffitt said.

“It was amazing finding out it was going to be in person. I am a dancer, and that is an irreplaceable feeling. And, doing it with other women, and doing it with these women, it’s insane! It’s really insane. I can’t put it in words,” Florida’s London Taylor said.

Alabama’s Julianne Abenoja is from Birmingham but is enjoying playing hostess to the other contestants. She says The last two weeks have been so memorable.

“It’s been so inspirational. Everyone here is so similar in their drive and in their work ethic and motivations in life. It’s cool to be surrounded by hardworking, successful young women. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be surrounded by 49 other women who are just like you,” Abenoja said.

To purchase tickets for tonight’s Preliminary or tomorrow’s finals, click here.