Like many teenagers, Paige Turner knows the realities of today's high school social realm.
"It's been tough to be a confident person," the 17-year-old Johnstown-Monroe High School senior told ThisWeek. "Girls can be mean sometimes. I went through a lot of that during my freshman year. But there came a point when I realized, who cares what people say."
That realization came this year when Turner decided to do something she has wanted to do since she was a child: participate in the Miss Johnstown pageant.
Not only did she win that crown June 18, but she also beat out 17 other young women from area high schools to earn the queen's title at the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival on Aug. 28.
Sweet Corn Festival judges conducted one-on-one interviews with contestants prior to public interviews on the main entertainment stage. The judging was based on activities, interview questions, personality, speaking ability, stage presence and overall appearance.
Former Miss Johnstown queens were invited this year to help celebrate the village's 200th birthday.
"I never expected to win," Turner said. "It was more about let's see what I can do. But it was a big confidence booster for me to appear on stage. I love talking to people so I went on stage, and I was calm, cool and collected."
As she begins the final year of high school, Turner has little time to just relax.
Not only is she a four-year starter and captain for the girls soccer team, but Turner also is active in marching band, pep band, symphonic band, symphonic choir and Apogee Chorale. She's appeared in three school musicals.
As a member of the Tri-Village Christian Church, Turner has served on a mission trip and is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
On most Sundays, she works a part-time job at Max & Erma's.
"Sometimes my schedule can be a bit much, but the way I look at it is, you're only in high school once, and you'd better take advantage of it," she said. "It goes by fast, but staying busy keeps me out of trouble, and I know it's going to help me as I enter college."
Turner, who is the daughter of Christopher and Amber Turner, has her sights set on the Ohio State University, where she might study food science or pharmaceutical sciences.
Whatever the future holds, Turner intends to remain self-assured.
Even her name prompts conversation.
"It's kind of funny because it was totally an accident, and my parents didn't mean to do that," she said. "My aunt, who's a jokester, pointed it out to them. She said a few more and you'll have a chapter."