Madera won the Miss Colorado USA 2006 title in a state pageant held in late 2005. This was her second attempt at the title, as she had placed second runner-up the previous year. Madera represented Colorado in the nationally televised Miss USA 2006 pageant broadcast live from Baltimore, Maryland on April 21, 2006. She did not place in the pageant, which was won by Tara Conner of Kentucky.
Having graduated from George Washington High School in 1998, Madera completed a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality, Meeting, & Travel Administration from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in 2004. She is currently managing one of her family's restaurants, 'La Fogata' in Denver and hopes to open her own restaurant in the future. Madera also works as a model and has been represented by Donna Baldwin Modeling and Talent Agency since 1998.