FORT CARSON, Colo. — Spc. Maura Spence has dreamed of being Miss America since she was 5-years-old. Next week she moves one step closer to that goal.

On June 7 and 8 Spence will compete in the Miss Colorado 2021 pageant in Parker, Colorado.

She could potentially be the first or one of the first active-duty soldiers to win the crown of Miss Colorado 2021, a title that would allow her to compete in Miss America. The Miss America Organization is a non-profit that serves as one of the largest providers of scholarship assistance to young women worldwide.

The 21-year-old will proudly represent Fort Carson, where she’s lived for the last two years and worked as an intelligence analyst.

“I live on Fort Carson. The military is my life, so it was very important to me that I represent that area because it does have such a huge impact on my life and the way that I live it,” expressed Spence.

Spence also hopes the competition will allow her the opportunity to spread awareness of suicide and other mental health issues within the military.