Girls representing cities and counties across Mississippi are in Meridian this week for the state Junior Miss Program.
They will rehearse throughout the week, and this weekend, will all be ready to compete to be this year's Mississippi Junior Miss.
"Only one person can win, but it's all about the time you spend together and the friendships you make for a lifetime, because these girls do make lifetime friendships," said choreographer, Suzie McCraw.
The Junior Miss program brings a college scholarship to a lucky young lady. The program also promotes health and fitness.
"I think it's really a growing experience. You really learn a lot from Junior Miss," said Jourdan Schulte of Lauderdale County. "I want people to know that it's really a great thing and if you have a chance to do it, you definitely should. It's a great thing to do."
Preliminary competition kicks off Thursday night and continues Friday night. The finals round will take place Saturday night.
"Junior Miss just embodies a whole person, and it promotes academic excellence," said Melanie Nelson of Newton County. "It stands for all the aspects of just being your best self. It's anything that a girl should get involved in."
Seven America's Junior Miss winners have been from our area since the program started in 1958. The only winner from Meridian was Sherry Brown in 1975.