CNN -- For the first time in 20 years, the Miss California pageant will have a contestant from Compton.
25-year-old Shanice McKinley has spent the last three months preparing for the contest -- learning the walk and getting fit.
She campaigned hard to raise money for the 17-hundred dollar entrance fee.
She hopes when people see her, it'll change their image of her neighborhood.
"Usually when people hear Compton they get afraid and associate it with so many negative stereotypes," said McKinley.
"The first thing that I want is that when people see someone from the city of Compton they won't judge us right offhand that we're either illiterate or not smart or we're not going to be capable of doing something. But they'll give us a fair shot."
After the pageant, McKinley says she hopes to work at a youth center, helping others in her neighborhood.