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Hewitt-Trussville High School student Katherine Grigsby is the new Miss Junior Teen United States.

"I had no words," said Grisby. "I was really just shocked."

Grigsby was crowned on October 13 at the competition in Memphis, Tennessee. The 15-year-old sophomore said the best part about holding the national title is the ability to give back even more than she already has.

"Their encouragement on community service is big," Grigsby said. "They want to push me to be my best."

Grigsby has served her community by building beds for children ages 3-17 who are in need. She is a founding member of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a non-profit that produces and distributes beds to children.

"It's like an assembly line," Grigsby explained. "You can cut the wood then sand it, drill for pre-nails when the bed will be put together in the home, and then stain it and brand it."

This past weekend, Grigsby joined an effort to build 100 beds. She said she hopes to have 1,500 made by the end of next year.

Grigsby said building beds for children in need is a cause close to her heart.

"I have a family friend who was put in an unfortunate situation, and one way that me and my family was able to help out was through Sleep in Heavenly Peace," Grigsby added. "We attended one of the bed builds and learned this was a huge issue, not just in our state but in our nation.

The teen beauty queen said after competing in the pageant for three years, she is thankful to now have the opportunity to spread the word about her cause on a much larger scale.

The Miss Junior Teen United States competition consists of several categories, including interview, gown, fitness, on-stage question and a speech. Grigsby used her speech to talk about Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Grigsby's mom, Angela Grigsby, said she is extremely proud of what her daughter has accomplished, and she hopes to inspire others to help those in need.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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