Tehachapi High School freshman Trinity Madden, 14, continued to excel on her path of pageantry after she was crowned Miss California Royal International Miss Junior Teen in Fullerton on Feb. 17.

Madden, who is the former Junior Miss Tehachapi and Junior Miss Antelope Valley, will go on to represent California and Tehachapi in the Royal International Miss competition to be held in Orlando, Fla., in July. She will compete against approximately 60 other contestants in a week-long pageant.

The girls were judged on several categories, including formal gown attire, playful attire in the fun and fashion category, talent and a formal interview.

"They asked us these questions, like, 'Why should you be our next winner?' and 'What makes you right for this title?,'" Madden said.

Another category the contestants are judged on was role model, based on their participation in community service.

"To me, community service is a really big part of this pageant," Madden said. "The judges like girls who do community service because it shows that they are involved and they want to expand, not only in their state, but also internationally. That's why girls compete for this title."

Madden said she has been competing in beauty pageants ever since she was very young, but it wasn't her "thing" until she turned 10 and a friend suggested she enter a Tehachapi pageant.

Said Madden, "I told my mom, 'Ooh! I want to do that!'"

Outside the pageantry world, Madden said she lives a full life as a THS cheerleader and dancer.

Said Madden, "I also love spending time with my family. I realized I don't have as much time with my family as I think I do because I recently lost my sister, Heidi, to an accident. She was two. So spending time with my family this past year has become really important to me."

Madden said she wants to be either a mechanical engineer or environmental engineer when she grows up, but that won't stop her from continuing her quest to capture more crowns.

"I really love doing beauty pageants. Not only is it another reason to get involved in my community, but it's another way to inspire kids because I am deaf. I like inspiring other kids and people who are deaf because I don't feel like a person should have to hold back who they are or have to do anything different and not pursue what they want to do," said the young beauty queen, who lost 95 percent of her hearing after being hit in the head with a hockey stick at the age of 10.

Madden's mother, Andrea Hall, said her daughter has a strong sense of values and a desire to help other people.

"We are very, very proud of her," said Hall. "Once she puts her mind to something, she definitely follows through."

Hall said her daughter has an extended family, including her father, David, step-father and step-mother, four brothers and a sister.

Following tradition, Madden was asked the same question as is posed to all beauty queens interviewed by Tehachapi News: "What is beauty?"

"It doesn't matter if you have the best clothes in school, or the best hair or eyes or prettiest face. None of that matters. Those things may make you pretty, but what makes you beautiful is what's inside and how you present yourself. A beautiful woman is a confident woman," she said.