In many pageants, mothers are the ones who encourage their daughters to compete.

But for Kimberly Albrecht, who was crowned Ms. Illinois Senior America in the spring and will compete for the title of Ms. Senior America 2018 in October, those roles were reversed.

"Brittany encouraged me to do it," Kimberly Albrecht said of her daughter. "She said, 'You're a performer, it'll be good for you.'"

Brittany Albrecht, who is Miss Southern Illinois, was speaking from experience.

"She feels that pageants are very empowering and her experience has always been positive," Kimberly Albrecht said.

The Ms. Senior America Pageant is for women who have reached the "Age of Elegance," which its website defines as 60 years and older. Kimberly Albrecht, who lives in Hawthorn Woods, said she learned about the competition a few years ago and decided to enter now that she's turned 60.

"I remember thinking this is really great, to celebrate life through all the ages," Albrecht said.

Unlike other states, there is no pageant to determine Ms. Senior Illinois so she filled out an application and was selected by a committee. She said she prayed for six months before deciding to enter and didn't tell anyone about it outside of her family.

"A lot of people say as you get to an older age, you need to challenge yourself to do something you've never done," Albrecht said. "I'm not about to go do sky diving tomorrow but doing a pageant is my form of jumping out of an airplane."

Albrecht plans to sing for the talent portion of the competition. Singing is something she's done professionally all her life -- she's a soprano soloist with several local music groups and has also performed, produced and directed musical theater and opera shows for the former Elgin Opera.

She said she has picked out her song for the competition. She will perform "Time To Say Goodbye/Con Te Partiro," which was composed by Francesco Sartori and written by Lucio Quarantotto and has been performed by many artists including Andrea Bocelli.

"It's a gorgeous piece and it highlights the high soprano," she said.

The National Ms. Senior America 2018 Pageant will begin Oct. 16 at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.