In just a few days, Grand Junction native Beckie Hughes will be competing for the title of Miss USA.
"This year I knew there was something special about her," said Connie Hughes, Beckie's mother.
On October 28, 2007 Beckie Hughes was crowned Miss Colorado USA. But for the 21-year-old, the road to the title wasn't an easy one. Three times she tried for the state crown, and three times she was unsuccessful. Her fourth time, however, was a different story.
"I think what motivates me is my desire and drive," said Beckie Hughes.
Since then, she and her family say things haven't slowed down.
"We've been traveling ever since she won," said Connie Hughes. "She's been raising money for all kinds of charities and speaking to young people about goals and dreams."
Beckie says she wouldn't have it any other way.
"I've gotten to meet so many people and touch so many lives," said Beckie Hughes. "It's just been a great year, and I hope for much more."
Now, the entrepreneur and owner of two Grand Junction boutiques takes one last stroll around her stores before she leaves.
"Just getting ready for two and a half weeks in Las Vegas and the pageant, I'm very excited," said Beckie Hughes.
Beckie admits she's already packed three suitcases and shipped out several boxes of clothes, shoes, and accessories ahead of her. She says though, that her trip to Vegas is about more than just looking good.
"It's like a small town girl with big city dreams," said Beckie Hughes. "If I were to win Miss USA that would be a huge honor and I would be representing the Western Slope."
Beckie, who designed the evening gown she'll be wearin in the competition, says she has high hopes for the pageant and wants to make her home state proud.
"I would love to be in the top fifteen," said Beckie Hughes. "But just competing at Miss USA is so exciting and a dream come true."
Her family says even if she doesn't win the hearts of the judges, she's already the grand prize winner in their's.
"Me and her dad couldn't be prouder," said Connie Hughes. "From what she's been able to accomplish in her life and in being Miss Colorado -- she's just an awesome girl."
You can watch Beckie and fifty other girls compete for the title of Miss USA April 11, right here on NBC.