Payton Maffioli, a Grand Forks Secondary School graduate, made the top 20 in the Miss Teenage Canada national competition in Toronto from Aug. 16 to 21.
She qualified after receiving first runner-up in the Miss Teen B.C. competition held in Richmond, from April 30 to May 1.
Payton, 18, competed in her second pageant against 35 other girls between the ages of 12-18 at the national competition.
The week-long pageant consisted of several activities like a photo shoot and bonding time in the city of Toronto.
In between competitions, Maffioli said she was able to visit Canada’s Wonderland for the first time with other contestants making for an exciting day.
Maffioli shared that the national competition level was more serious than the prior provincial one. Categories of the competition included Miss Photogenic, Talent, Fundraising (whoever fund raises the most for their cause), Miss Influencer, best runway, and other internal competitions.
Maffioli said she got into pageants because it had always been an interest of hers as she enjoys performing and modelling.
“I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to put myself out there,” she said. “Being able to bond with some of the amazing women I’m competing against, but also the friendships that you find with the other girls is incredible.”
Maffioli said she has learned to be herself and plans to keep in touch with other girls she has met throughout her pageant experience.
The most difficult part of pageants can be critiques and criticisms from judges ,as well as not being well-liked by all contestants, she explained.
“It’s important to be confident in who you are and in your own skin, your morals and what you aspire to be.”
This fall, Maffioli will be settling into her first semester at Selkirk College for integrated and environmental planning.
After adjusting to her new school she said she would love to go on to do a Miss World or a Miss Universe pageant in the future.
While some people see pageants as superficial Payton said she sees them differently.
“It’s a pathway for women to forge a future for other women and for women to become whom they aspire to be,” she said. “It is something that has made me ten times more confident in who I am.”