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Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Winters Mill student wins state competition

Winters Mill senior Margo Huffman does not like being bored.
She stays active and embraces many roles, both at school and in the community.
Last weekend, she added a new one to her resume.
Huffman became just the third participant from Carroll to win Maryland's Distinguished Young Woman competition in 56 years Saturday at the competition at Carroll Community College's Scott Center in Westminster.
Suzanne Delong (1961) and Brooke Poklemba (2004) were the previous Carroll title holders who won the state competition.
The Distinguished Young Woman scholarship program has awarded more than $65 million in scholarships to participants. The program formerly known as America's Junior Miss holds a national competition each June in Mobile, Ala. Huffman, 17, will be headed there next summer representing Maryland.
First, she anticipates a busy senior year.
Huffman is part of the Winters Mill Falcon Fusion Dance Team and is involved in her school's Student Government Association.
She is a community service advocate who volunteers with multiple organizations including the Johns Hopkins Believe in Tomorrow Children's Foundation and the 4-H Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program.
It's an ambitious schedule, but it's what Huffman said she prefers.
"I enjoy being busy, and I don't like having nothing to do," she said. "I am pretty good at prioritizing, and I have just gotten used to having a lot going on."
Huffman was also Miss Teen Maryland International in 2011 and Miss Teen District of Columbia International in 2012.
By winning the statewide competition, Huffman is now eligible for several full scholarships to college and universities, particularly those in Alabama.
The previous four Distinguished Young Women Maryland winners are attending college via full scholarships, all in Alabama. Regional winners have also earned partial and full scholarships as well.
"We're trying to get the word out about scholarship opportunities for these kids," Distinguished Young Woman of Maryland organizer Cheri Poklemba said. "There are some amazing opportunities out there."
While attending the national competition in June, Aleksandra Knepper, Maryland's 2012 Distinguished Young Woman, decided to attend the University of South Alabama in Mobile on a full scholarship.
Huffman is already considering her college choices, so far preferring the University of North Carolina and the University of Alabama.
"I think it does give me a lot more options in the future when I choose what school I want to attend," she said.
Prior to Saturday's state competition, Huffman completed volunteer service throughout the Westminster area, including at the Carroll County Farm Museum.
Each participant in the competition stayed with a host family and was assigned a younger girl to mentor, one that could possibly become involved with the Distinguished Young Woman program in the future. Huffman said she got along well with Paige Hackett, her little sister for the week.
After performing dance in the talent portion of the competition, Huffman became the first Carroll teen to win the statewide title in nine years.
Poklemba said she is hopeful that Huffman will encourage other girls to enter the competition in future years.
"It's going to be nice to have a local winner," Poklemba said. "It will help us build the program in the county and show other girls what's possible."


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