New Bern toddler competing for Baby Miss America

NEW BERN, NC (WITN) - A toddler from New Bern is competing for Baby Miss America.

Crystal Hughes and Tony Ryan Jr’s 2-year-old daughter NeVae will represent North Carolina in the national pageant.

NeVae will compete with children from across the country in New Orleans in March.

Children ages 6 months to seven years old are eligible to compete in the pageant. Organizers say the pageant does not allow make up, modeling or hair pieces for the kids.

Contestants are judged on natural beauty, personality, smile and attire. This year's theme is breast cancer awareness for young moms. The contestants will dress in pink to raise awareness for the disease that affects more than 250,000 women.

NeVae will also participate in Baby Miss America's Project Grandma where winners from across the country visit nursing homes and assisted living centers.