Stanberry High School student Whitney Woodward, 16, has been chosen as a state finalist for the National American Miss Missouri pageant.
She will head to Columbia for the pageant on August 4 and 5.
In the teen division, Woodward said that she was recommended for the competition for the last few years, but that after a friend competed, she decided to try it out this year.
"I'm excited and nervous both at the same time," Woodward said. "It is going to be a great experience."
Contestants are judged in four categories, interview, community involvement, a personal introduction and formal wear.
Woodward's mother, Crystal Smith, said that those categories are why she likes the pageant.
"I think it's a neat program because it's not based on looks," Smith said. "It's not Toddlers and Tiaras. They tell contestants 'if your grandpa is not going to like what you're wearing, we are not going to like it."
Woodward plans to attend the University of Missouri after high school and pursue a career in the medical field.
Winning the pageant could put her on her way, as the winner will receive a $1,000 cash award. Winners also get the official crown and banner, air transportation to California for the national pageant, a tour of Hollywood and two tickets to Disneyland.
Woodward used to compete in a wide variety of sports, but after surgery to fix a torn meniscus, chose to focus solely on cheerleading for her athletic career.
She is also a member of FCCLA, FFA, the National Honor Society and the Stanberry First Baptist Church youth group.
In her spare time, Whitney enjoys riding four wheelers, spending time with friends and family and working on the farm.
Her sponsors in the pageant include Albany Tire, Creative Cuts, Midwest Grower Supply, Smith and Smith Fencing, Gages, Edson's Taxidermy, Lou's Antiques, Shoat's, Norm's Napa and Wabash Restaurant.
The National American Miss Pageants strive to celebrate America's future leaders and equip them with life-long skills. The pageant awards more than $1.5 million annually in cash, scholarships and prizes.