DERRY — Josie Lydick took her positive role model messages on the road.
The Pinkerton Academy senior was named the state’s Distinguished Young Woman for 2014 earlier this year and made some stops around town last week to talk to young people about success in the classroom and out of school.
She was scheduled to speak to students at Derry Village and Grinnell elementary schools, and also the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Derry and dance students at Derry’s Dance Progressions.
Lydick’s messages were aimed at inspiring young people to lead successful and productive lives. That’s what the Distinguished Young Woman of New Hampshire program promotes, rewarding students who excel academically, but also outside the classroom.
For Josie, the award is a testament to her endurance and drive to succeed. She battled debilitating headaches and seizures from the time she was in eighth grade. For years, doctors tried to find the cause of her illness, but symptoms lingered on.
She eventually had surgery last fall, then was back at the books and taking dance lessons soon after.
Lydick used her own story to inspire the students, including her message to be healthy and strong, part of last week’s national Be Your Best Self Week, an effort supported by the Distinguished Young Woman award.
As the state’s award winner, Lydick is scheduled to travel to Mobile, Ala., in June to participate in the 57th annual Distinguished Young Woman national competition. She will take part in a series of activities and events. She also will complete for cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the program as the national winner.
During its time, the program has provided life-changing experiences for more than 730,000 young women and has provided more than $367 million in cash and college scholarships.
The program was previously known as America’s Junior Miss program, but changed its name in 2010.