Says her year-long reign was one of learning and growth –
By Patricia Beech –
North Adams graduate Caitlin Young’s reign as Adams County Fair Queen is coming to an end, but she says the experience has helped prepare her for the next step in her post-royalty career – college.
Young plans to attend Marshall University this fall to pursue a Pharmacology degree..
“Just being in the Queen contest helped with my interviewing skills,” she says. “I’m not as shy about talking in front of people as I was, and I think that helped with my scholarship interviews.”
Young, who was Salutatorian of her graduating class, received numerous academic scholarships and awards including: the John and Tim Lewis Scholarship; the C103 Scholarship; the Chad Downing Scholarship; the Beta Club Scholarship; the Seaman American Legion Scholarship; the Southeast Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Scholarship; the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Section 2 Winner Scholarship; the North Adams Alumni Scholarship; the Western Women’s Golf Foundation Scholarship; the National Honors Society North Adams Chapter Scholarship; the Dave Young Memorial Scholarship; the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association State Scholarship Winner – Plaque; the Marshall University John Marshall Scholarship; the Society of Yeager Scholars Finalist; the Honors College Scholarship; and the Seaman/North Adams Alumni Scholarship. She also made the President’s List at Southern State Community College where she participated in the Post-Secondary Education program.
While she’s excited about going away to college and living on her own, Young says she has no intention of leaving her roots behind.
“I’m planning on coming back to Adams County to work in Fitzgerald’s Pharmacy,” she says. “It’s my hometown, I’d never leave it.”
During her year-long reign as Adams County’s ambassador on the county fair circuit, Young had the opportunity to meet other fair queens who inspired her to create a lasting memento of her time as queen.
“At several county fairs I received pins to wear on my sash that show I went to that fair,” she says. “Since Adams County didn’t have one, I created one that looks like the quilt square on the grandstand. I thought it would be cool for future queens to trade at the state fair.”
Young also competed in the State Fair Queen Contest, an experience which she says strengthened her public speaking skills.
“When we did the interview we had two people to interview with, I got to ask a question about how people run their affairs and how they become so successful, then I had to go on stage in a formal gown and introduce myself to a very large crowd.”
As she prepares to relinquish her crown, Young reflects on her 10-year 4-H career and admits she is “sad to leave it behind”.
“I’ve learned a lot of lessons through 4-H,” she says. “I’ve learned to be responsible, I’ve learned how to take care of animals, I’ve met great people and I know they’re the kind of people I can call on at any time.”
She says her favorite thing about 4-H was showing her lambs at the fair.
“It’s great to get first place,” she says. “You feel really good about yourself because you’re trying your best and making your animal look its best. Sometimes you may not succeed, or get where you want to be but it just gives you something to try for the next year. It’s great because you feel you’re heading in the right direction.”
That’s a feeling she would like to pass on to young people.
“It’s all about teaching youth in our community how to be successful in the future,” she says. “But you can’t do that without mentors, and that’s what I’ve tried to do, teach young ones and guide them in the right direction.”
The 2017 Adams County Fair Queen will be crowned on Sunday, July 9 and Young has some advice for this year’s contestants – just be yourself.
“I know that sounds really cliche, but people can see through a facade, so being a genuine person is the most important thing because if you give different people parts of yourself that are exaggerated, you’ll never know who you’re supposed to be.”
Caitlin in the daughter of Chris and Marla Young, who she calls “the best parents ever”.
“They really push to be the best I can, not just in 4-H but in everything I do. They’ve always believed in me, and sometimes when I fall short, they’ll tell me, it’s alright, it’s a lesson learned, just try harder next time. They’ve never been disappointed in anything I do. This whole year, graduating and everything, all they’ve done is tell me that they’re so proud of my accomplishments, but I know I couldn’t have done it without them behind me, pushing me and believing in me.”