VOORHEES — Just before 8 p.m. on a summer Thursday night, Miss New Jersey 2018 Jaime Gialloreto finished up a day of preparation by heading to her personal trainer.

She stretched on the floor of the gym, a French braid holding back her hair, before starting a session of drills that involved jumping almost 2 feet up onto a platform, pulling and pushing almost 200 pounds across the room and throwing a 12-pound medicine ball up in the air.

It was a typical day lately for the state’s representative in the Miss America 2019 pageant, and it’s all part of working on her “best self.”

“The best preparation is just to live your best life,” said the resident of Woolwich Township, Gloucester County. “It’s a wonderful journey to embrace.”

Gialloreto, 19, the second-youngest contestant in this year’s competition, has about three weeks left until she has her chance to become Miss America 2019 on Sept. 9 in Atlantic City. She will compete with 50 other candidates from around the country for the “Miss America 2.0 crown.”

After she was crowned Miss New Jersey from her Miss South Shore title in Ocean City in June, Gialloreto has been living a dream she never would have expected.

She got involved with the Miss America Organization when she was 15, competing in the Outstanding Teen system twice and then went to the local “Miss” competition, but this world is relatively new for her. No one in her family had competed like this before, and the thought hadn’t really crossed her mind until a dance teacher suggested she try it.

“I would watch Miss America every year, but it was almost like an abstract idea,” she said. “I never would have imagined that someday I would be on that stage.”

And since her state crowning, she has been moving forward to prepare.

Gialloreto works with two trainers a few times a week at her fitness sponsor, Training Aspects in Voorhees. On one August Thursday night, performance specialist Rob Jost encouraged her during the workout and high-fived her after she completed the drills.

They have come up with different exercises that will also help her in her dance for the competition’s talent portion, focusing on endurance, height during her leaps, and strength.

But Miss America has undergone many changes during the past several months: It will no longer be a pageant, but a competition, and there will not be “contestants,” but instead, “candidates.” The swimsuit component has been eliminated, and there will be changes to the evening gown portion.

While Miss America has undergone changes, Gialloreto says her preparation hasn’t changed much from what she did before the state competition.