Annie Hebel Becomes a Leader in her Community

By Elizabeth Johns, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Editor’s Note: Annie Hebel won three separate scholarships – a community leadership award, the overall talent winner award, as well as placing second runner-up overall- at the Distinguished Young Women of York County scholarship competition this past Saturday, May 4.


Imagine having the ability to win a $10,000 scholarship for college.

Seems impossible, doesn’t it?

For junior Annie Hebel, it doesn’t look so impossible.

Annie is going to play her viola for the talent portion of the performance. Photograph courtesy of Annie Hebel

Through the Distinguished Young Women of York County scholarship program, Annie Hebel has the chance to not only win scholarship money, but develop her interview, networking and social skills alongside girls from York County.

Annie Hebel first found out about the program through friends and instantly felt compelled to participate.

“My main inspiration… was that I went to see [the program] while one of my friends who was a junior was in it; I was in 8th grade at that point,” said Annie. “I saw it and I thought, ‘This is a really neat opportunity.’ It’s really right up my alley in terms of the whole performing arts thing, and I play viola so that was my talent.”

The program focuses on “[inspiring] high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments,” as said on Distinguished Young Women’s website.

Annie’s mom, Terri Hebel, has noticed a positive change in her daughter.

“[I’ve noticed] definitely a little bit of poise,” said Terri. “Independence, because it requires her to get herself up every week for practice… keeping track of all the things that she needs for it.”

Annie herself can even see a difference.

“I’ve really grown a lot, in terms of my confidence,” said Annie. “It’s a lot of performing in front of people who you’ve never met before, so it’s really helped me grow and know that I can do it. I’ve also improved my interview skills a lot in terms of practicing. I think I’ve become a better speaker, and it’s also been great to meet a lot of new people and improve my social skills.”

Taking these skills out into the real world is also another important aspect for this program.

“In terms of the confidence skills, the people skills that I’m learning, interview skills are such a valuable lesson to learn for college and beyond,” said Annie. “Being able to put yourself out there and have the confidence that what you’re saying and doing is good and positive, and you can do it, essentially… That’s really valuable … in terms of having those skills to approach people and get new opportunities, and pursue those things.

Photograph courtesy of Kaleb Fair
Annie is competing against girls from schools all over York County for this scholarship.

Not only has Annie given her time and attention to finish this program, but she is also missing prom to attend the final ceremony where the winner will be crowned.

Although this seems like a strict competition, Terri stresses that it’s more about the life lessons than anything else.

“You have to go into this expecting not to get anything. But at the end of the day, when it’s done, as a mom, I want her to feel like she had a good experience, like she learned something, she grew, she did her best and that’s it,” said Terri.

The final ceremony will be held at Central York High School on May 4.