A quest to improve networking skills - and become more involved in the community, has led Amy Mewton to the 2020 Maitland Showgirl competition.
The 19-year-old East Maitland woman decided to enter the longstanding quest and hopes she will walk away with more confidence and refined skills.
"I felt like it was something to do to grow my confidence. I want to do more for the community, I want to learn and make new friends," she said.
"It will give me heaps and heaps of confidence, and it will probably make me feel better about myself."
Ms Mewton will start studying at TAFE in a few weeks to become a teacher's aid.
It will signal the start of a long-term goal to her dream job.
"I want to be a teacher but I didn't do my Higher School Certificate (HSC) at school so this is close enough at the moment," she said.
"My friend has done it and she had good results with it and had a good experience. It's something that I really want to do.
"Eventually I would love to study to become a teacher but it's a longer-term goal."
Ms Mewton grew up in Newcastle and moved to Maitland 10 years ago.
She likes the feel of Maitland and said it was "more of a country town" than a city.
"I like how everything is close to each other. I live close to the pool so I am close to everything," she said.
"I'd like to see more universities and TAFE courses here. All the universities and TAFE courses are in Newcastle. It would be easier for a lot of people, like myself, if there were courses in Maitland so we don't have to travel."
Entries in the showgirl competition close on Friday, January 24, at 5pm.
Entrants will be interviewed by a panel of judges on Sunday, February 2, and then attend a luncheon.
They will then attend a gala ball on Saturday, February 8, at Maitland Showground from 6pm where they will be interviewed on stage.
Ms Mewton said she wasn't nervous about the public speaking component of the program.
She performed stand up comedy during a cruise and received high marks for her efforts.That has given her some confidence heading into the gala night.
The winner will be sashed at the official opening of Maitland Show on February 14. There will be a runner up and third place sash.
The winner will go on to be sashed as Miss Maitland, which is a youth ambassador role for the city that involves attending official functions. They will compete at the zone finals in 2021 for a place in the state final in Sydney.
To request an entry form phone Maitland Showground on 4933 5052 or phone Margaret Enright on 0422 769 053.