Forty-two contestants in Mississippi's Junior Miss program are hard at work, preparing for preliminary competition Thursday and Friday nights, and the all-important finals on Saturday at Meridian's Temple Theatre.
Each one may have her own reason for becoming part of the Junior Miss program.
"My mom was actually a Junior Miss a long time ago. And she really encouraged me to get involved, because she had such an amazing time," said Harrison County's Junior Miss, Lindsey Bristol. "She just really wanted me to experience the same kinds of things she did."
As the start of preliminary competition approaches, these young ladies say they are as ready as they can be.
"I am just ready to show what I've learned, and show everybody how much talent I have," said Jakayla Harrell, Macon's Junior Miss.
The available scholarships can help the winners reach their academic goals.
"I want to first start at Jones County Junior College and just get my basics there. And then I want to go to Mississippi College and major in music. I want to be a music minister, so that's my plans for right now," said Wayne Count Junior Miss, Julie Anne Wood.
And after all this hard work is over, many plan to take it easy next week.
"After this week is over, me and a bunch of the girls have decided we're going to the beach and we're going to relax and get a massage. So it should be fun," said Hannah Beth Byrd, Greene County's Junior Miss.
A lot of hard work and perseverance goes into the entire Junior Miss experience.