Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler and Gracie Bassett, a high school senior representing the city next month in the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi competition.
Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler and Gracie Bassett, a high school senior representing the city next month in the Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi competition.
Gracie Bassett of Madison will compete for the title of Distinguished Young Woman of Mississippi 2021 in July.

Holding the title of Madison County’s Distinguished Young Women, Bassett is a senior in high school who will be 17 by the state competition July 31-Aug. 1 in Meridian. 

“It’s been an amazing journey,” said the daughter of William and Barbie Bassett. “I am having so much fun, learning and meeting new people. All of Madison has come together to support me, and I feel very blessed.”

Bassett recently met with Madison Mary Hawkins Butler who congratulated her on her title and offered her advice for the upcoming competition. “Dream big, never quit and take your faith with you,” the mayor said. 

The Distinguished Young Woman program was previously known as Junior Miss, and the values and emphasis on “be your best self” remain the same in the national organization that provides scholarship opportunities for high school seniors.



Since winning the local title in January, Bassett has been busy preparing for the state competition. Skills contestants are judged on are scholastics (25 percent), interview (25 percent), talent (20 percent), fitness (15 percent) and self-expression (15 percent). 

Bassett’s scholastic record has been sent in for the review and the interview with the judges will take place once she arrives in Meridian before the competition. That means that 50 percent of a contestant’s overall score is determined before going on stage to showcase talent, fitness and self-expression, which is done by answering a question live during the competition.

For her talent, Bassett will perform “Whitewater Chopsticks” by Calvin Jones on piano, a piece she said she is excited to play.

The winner of the state competition will participate in the national finals next June.