A Pacific girl who found her niche in community service at age 11 was named Junior Teen Miss Pacific Missouri in the National American Miss pageant in Anaheim, Calif., this past June at age 14.

Paige Plaisted and her brother, Harry, her supporter and teen competition chaperone, were recognized at the Feb. 6 Pacific Pacific Board of Aldermen meeting.

In 2014, when Paige was a student at Meramec Valley Middle School, she received a letter from the National American Miss (NAM) saying she was selected to attend a conference and participate in the Missouri state queen pageant.

NAM is not a beauty contest, but is a leadership and career preparation program designed for today’s girl, centered on helping girls grow and expand their ideas about who they are and what they want to achieve.

Girls from age 4 to 18, compete in four age groups, to try their hand at a series of exercises that show off their communication and presentation skills.

Paige’s first year, as an 11-year-old, was an odyssey that took her through a whirlwind of self-discovery in annual leadership pageants.

In 2015, she earned the Spirit of America award in the state finals and the following year she was named a National Cover Girl in the national pageant.

In 2017, at the national pageant in Anaheim, she was a runner-up for Miss Missouri and was awarded the Miss Pacific Missouri crown.

Paige is currently in the Junior Teen 13-15 age group.

A key element of the NAM program judges girls on how much community service and volunteering they do with different organizations, which was the best part of the program for Paige.

She has been a volunteer in the Missouri Rabbit House Society, walked for cancer, donated goods to the Agape House in Pacific and hosted an ice cream event at Christopher’s Corners to raise money to assist Ballwin Police Officer Mike Fleming who was shot in the line of duty.

“Community service projects is the part I like best about American Miss,” Paige said. “I think I’ve learned the most from reaching out to other people. I’m always looking for another opportunity to help others.”