This week, it's CC Barber's time to shine.
The Scappoose native, who won the title of Miss Oregon last July, is in Las Vegas competing to for the crown of Miss America.
On Tuesday, hours before taking the stage for the first of many competitions leading up to Saturday's nationally televised event at 5 p.m. Barber chatted on the phone to the Spotlight during a hasty lunch break.
Since traveling to Vegas last week - and in between the non-stop cavalcade of appearances, rehearsals and filming for a TLC channel reality show - Barber has been able to reflect on her journey from 2005 Scappoose High School graduate to pageant royalty. Dance team member to world traveling charity worker.
And what a trip it's been. Her achievements have given her opportunities to spread good graces, a great thrill for her.
Now she is in Vegas, competing to represent America.
But Barber has been able to block the anxiety that could easily come with such a tremendous event. She is one of 53 women whose ranks were whittled down from over 14,000 hopefuls, but manages to keep that feeling at bay by planting her feet firmly on the ground, putting her shoulders back and proclaiming, ‘what ever happens, happens.'
"I've never wanted anything more in my entire life," she said. "I also need to be realistic in myself."
"I honestly feel it's in God's hands. He got me this far and I know he has a plan for me."
Even if she doesn't get the top honors, she is satisfied knowing that she has made the most of her opportunity. Earlier this month, the nursing student took a mission trip with World Hope International to Nairobi, Kenya where she aided Africans with her medical training.
"It was one of the most life changing experiences I've ever had," Barber said. "It really put my priorities, and what's most important in life, at the forefront of my brain."
She has taken that experience with her to the Miss America competition, and despite a grueling series of competitions, she is calm. Or as calm as possible considering her schedule the next few days.
On Wednesday judges will interview Barber and on Thursday she will model evening gowns and swimsuits.
Then on Friday she will find out (after the airing of a special TLC reality show "Miss America: Behind the Curtains at 10 p.m.) if she made the top 15 that will be voted on at the big show Saturday night.
Back home - and down in Las Vegas - her family and friends will be cheering her on. Even her 93-year-old grandfather, who lives in Nevada, will be there. It's the first time he will see his granddaughter perform.
Pam Reynolds, Barber's aunt, took a plane to see the events Tuesday night. She is as proud as anyone can be.
"I'm so excited I can hardly stand it," Reynolds said. "Let's hope we have a Miss America."
That excitement is shared by so many in the community and Barber said she is positively thrilled at the support she has received now and during the entire year.
While still firmly planted in the now, Barber is still peering towards the future and the opportunities that being Miss Oregon and, potentially Miss America, have given her.
"I always watched it on TV," she said about the competition. "But I didn't think that that was ever a possibility for me. I never even considered it. I never dared to dream to be Miss America."