It took courage and determination to get in front of the judges at the state National American Miss pageant in Wichita.

But for Maranda Green, the effort paid off when she qualified for the national pageant in Los Angeles in November.

Green hasn't decided if she will go to the national competition but she is considering filling out the application.

At the state competition, Green competed in the teen group in spokes model, actress, casual wear, photogenic and talent. She won a portfolio award and took third in dance.

Her third place finish in dance assured her of a spot in the national pageant. He dance was a lyrical dance to "My Immortal" a slow hip-hop song.

She also did an interview and a personal introduction. She also competed in formal wear (a big poofy white ball gown) with her friend Devon Hacker as her escort in his dress blue Marine uniform.

To be eligible to enter NAM, someone must nominate the person. Then an interview is held and if the person is accepted, they have to sell ads and get sponsors. This allows entrants to participate at no charge.

Green got an information letter in March and found out she had been accepted as a contestant in late April. This gave her about three months to prepare for the state competition.

Green said she took part in the competition to get scholarship money, meet new people but mostly to help her get out of her bubble.

"I'm shy. This was a way to reach out to other people," Green said.

"I gained more confidence in myself and I feel I accomplished quite a bit," Green said.

Green brought home four trophies from the competition.

The competition is definitely something she would do again.

She was surprised at how friendly, helpful and nice the other contestants were towards her.

Green said the biggest challenge was remembering to smile and to look at all the judges. Even when it wasn't her turn to perform, the judges were walking among the contestants so she had to be "Stage Ready."

The state competition was July 19-21 at the Wichita Hyatt Regency. Riley Prosser of Pratt also competed in the pageant in the pre-teen group.

Green is the daughter of Mandy Green and has siblings Colton and Ramanda and her grandparents are Shirley and Louis Green.

Diana Higdon also accompanied her to the state competition.

While the competition improved her self-confidence, it also helped her reach another personal goal.

"I feel like I made my mom proud," Green said.