Neben crowned Miss Douglas County
Gardnerville Ranchos resident Briana Neben is the new Miss Douglas County.
She was crowned Saturday at the Miss Carson City/Miss Douglas County pageant in Carson City.
The 23-year-old is no stranger to the crown.
She competed in local pageants for the first time in 2015 and was crowned Miss Carson City. In 2016 she was named Miss Lake Tahoe and was the first runner-up for Miss Nevada.
She hopes to be crowned Miss Nevada 2017.
“Third try is a charm, right,” she said. “That’s what we’re hoping for.”
Neben’s platform is speaking out on domestic violence.
“Violence thrives in silence, so I speak out to break that silence,” she said.
She said her platform is inspired by her past.
“I came out of an abusive relationship and didn’t really know who I was or where I stood,” she said. “I had to learn to find myself, my creativity, my own beliefs and where I stood.”
Neben said the pageant helped her move forward and rediscover herself.
She works for Live Violence Free as an advocate and volunteers with organizations such as Court Appointed Special Advocates and Sexual Assault Responsive Advocates.
She has previously volunteered with Austin’s House and Carson High School doing fundraisers and speaking to youth about domestic violence.
“I enjoy volunteering and sharing my story whenever I can,” she said. “Volunteering has helped me realize that by telling my story, I can help others in these situations.”
Neben said her past experience and crown has inspired her to continue sending a message to youth.
“People often come up to me and say they cane relate to my story and that’s exactly why I do it,” she said. “Even if I am not the one they confide in, at least they know they are not alone and can seek resources and help.”
She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her focus is working with teenagers.
“My passion is teenagers, because that’s when it all started for me,” she said. “So if I can talk about it, hopefully they will reach out, know they’re not alone and seek resources.
“It’s amazing how much a pageant changes you,” she added. “You are not just standing there looking pretty. There’s a lot of work that goes into it and after. It has changed me. I am a completely different person, not just physically but mentally, and I’ve grown as a woman and who I stand for.”
The Miss Nevada Pageant will be June 15-16 at the Tropicana Theatre in Las Vegas.
The Miss Nevada Scholarship Organization is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
For more information visit MissNevada.org