Welcome to our fourth annual Women to Watch issue. We’re so excited about this year’s group of young ladies! From making a name in the creative writing world to racking up wins in pageants, gymnastics, and more, from running charities and earning scholarships to glowing with simple, everyday kindness, these gals are truly doing the incredible things we love to feature. We even have one of the few female Chinook pilots in the world! Let’s start off with our four cover girls. You’re going to be fascinated by their stories – and floored by their terrific advice!
“Be you. Don’t let other people tell you who you should be.” Paige Grisamore Age 16
Hairstyle changes are part of any teen experience, but to 16-year-old Paige Grisamore, haircuts mean something more. A few years ago, she and her mom decided to donate their hair to Wigs for Kids, a 30-year-old organization that supports children who’ve lost their hair due to chemotherapy, burns, alopecia, and other conditions. Since then Paige has donated three more times, one with her mom and twice on her own.
“I like to be around kids,” she says, “and I want to contribute something to the world around me. Donating my hair lets me make kids happy and it makes their lives better.”
In fact, Paige realizes how important personal appearance can be for all people’s self-esteem. She’s been a Girl Scout for 10 years. When it came time to choose her Gold Award project, she decided to work with Bridging the Gap, an organization in Newnan that provides food, showers, and other necessities for those struggling in our community. Paige’s project provided haircuts for 17 people and personal grooming products for several more.
Paige, who grew up in Fayetteville and Peachtree City, is currently a sophomore at Starr’s Mill High. She’s an officer in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), and a member of Beta Club, the Spanish Honor Society, the National Honor Society, and the Chick-Fil-A Leadership Program. She’s been playing soccer for the last 10 years, and she loves her school dance class which includes many different forms. She also dances ballet, tap, and pointe at Compass Dance Academy and has been dancing for 11 years. She says her favorite subjects are math and English. One of her unique hobbies? Selling clothes she no longer wears on Poshmark.
She loves to travel and has been to Ireland, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Italy, England, France, Switzerland, Jamaica, Dominican Republican, and the Bahamas. In The US, she has enjoyed New York, Idaho, Washington state and Mall of America in Minnesota. She says, however, that her favorite was Ireland. This summer she will be going on a mission trip to Honduras.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to travel,” she says. “I feel it’s an experience not everyone gets to have. You get to see a whole other part of the world, meet different people, and see how they live. It’s really cool.”
After high school, Paige hopes to earn an early childhood education degree from UGA and would very much like to teach in a high need area. Her mother and paternal grandmother and great-grandmother were teachers, and she says she’s wanted to be one since the first grade, thanks to her first-grade teacher, Mrs. Donna Buffington at Braelinn Elementary School.
She certainly has plenty of experience with kids. She’s worked in her church’s nursery at New Hope since she was 14 years old. Paige also enjoys her early childhood education class at SMHS in which she gets to work with the preschool children during the school day. Her family often serves as a foster family, sometimes for a few nights and other times as long as nine months, depending on the children’s needs. So far, Paige has had 29 foster siblings between the ages of two and 14.
“I actually really like it,” she says. “I have two older siblings and I always wanted younger ones. Now it’s like I’ve had 29!”
Paige’s mom, Holly, is incredibly proud of her daughter.
“She’s a very hard worker, especially in school, and has many accolades from her teachers,” Holly says. “She’s organized and dedicated, and a terrific role model and mentor. She has a positive attitude and just a heart for helping others.”