Piqua native wins America’s International Miss 2022

PIQUA — Megan Booher, 27, daughter of Angela Booher, of Piqua was recently crowned America’s International Miss 2023.

America’s International Miss (AIM) is a community service based scholarship pageant for girls and young women. The youngest age to compete in AIM pageants is 4 years old. AIM has six separate groups; Little Miss, Young Miss, Junior Miss, Pre-teen Miss, Teen Miss and Miss.

Booher grew up in Piqua and graduated from Piqua High School in 2013. She was crowned America’s International Miss on Oct. 23. As the titleholder of AIM Booher will participate in Wreaths Across America. Each December, on National Wreaths Across America Day, Dec. 17, volunteers and donors participate in the mission to remember, honor and teach by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in Arlington National Cemetery and cemeteries across America. As the reigning Miss, Booher also won a cruise to the Bahamas and scholarship funds.

“It’s (winning AIM) a dream come true, it’s something that I’ve dreamt of since I was little, but being raised by a single parent and going through some obstacles in life and then being diagnosed with an invisible disability I felt that my dreams were out of reach,” Booher said.

“I’ve never really seen this happen, but when they announced her as the winner, she had a standing ovation. Everyone was pulling for Megan, she just has a good soul. Everything about her is about making a difference. She’s definitely going to leave a legacy on this planet,” said AIM Director India Dickinson.

AIM started in 2016, originally under the name USA Elegant Miss. As a community service based pageant the girls and women competing all participate in various community service jobs in their own communities. AIM’s motto is “love, lead and serve: love yourself and others unconditionally, lead by example and be a role model, and serve others selflessly.”

For the 2023 AIM pageant Booher completed 818 hours of community service work from October 2021 to August 2022. Since she started with AIM two years ago, Booher has completed 1,538 hours of service.

Booher’s community service included working with an organization called With Much Grace who helps adults with intellectual, physical and invisible disabilities improve their skills that are needed for everyday life. With Much Grace is also helping Booher launch her own platform called the Beauty Box Project. Booher’s project is still in the works but when it does launch, the program will collect donated beauty and hygiene products to be put into a Beauty Box that will be distributed to those in need within the community. Booher is in the process of getting the Beauty Box Project recognized by Ohio as a non-profit organization so that she can begin collecting donations and distributing the boxes to communities all over Ohio.

Another act of service that was truly personal for Booher was working with Ray of Sunshine. Ray of Sunshine collects and donates stuffed animals to children in communities all over the U.S. that are going through traumas. As an ambassador for Ray of Sunshine, Booher collected over 2,200 stuffed animals between August and October of 2022 for children at Dayton Children’s Hospital. Collecting and donating stuffed animals to Dayton Children’s Hospital is a personal act of service as she was treated at Dayton Children’s Hospital for her own invisible illness.

In 2011, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and due to her illness she missed a lot of her junior and senior years of high school. Following high school, she went to school pre-med and found it hard to keep up with her school as she struggled with her illness and at 22 years old she was struggling with everyday functions including walking. She ended up dropping pre-med and going to Creative Images in Dayton to become an esthetician.

“Looking back, that was how my story was meant to be written and I went to school and became an esthetician… I feel like that was meant to happen, because that’s how I developed my platform. I wanted to combine the beauty industry with the pageant industry to help people find beauty withing themselves and to love who they are, ” said Booher.

Booher hopes to be able to get involved in local schools to spread her message of self love. An idea she hopes will come to be in the near future is for students in area schools to write out things they love about themselves and put them on a cutout of a Beauty Box.

“I want to show people that you can be an ordinary person and accomplish extraordinary things… I want people to know that their obstacles don’t define who they are and that you can learn from the experiences that you’ve gone through and grow from it. I want to show those kids that are either being raised by a single parent or are sick like I was that it doesn’t make you any less beautiful. My mission with pageants (is to show that) differences are beautiful and that you should love who you are and accept it and thrive off of it,” said Booher.

She is also hoping to speak at the Piqua 2023 graduation ceremony, 10 years after she graduated from Piqua High School, to spread her message of dreaming big and loving yourself.

“I dream big and dreams can feel limited in a small town and I just want to show people, especially kids that are in my community, that you can put your mind to anything you want to accomplish. I never thought that starting to compete at 24 years old would ever amount to anything, but when you find love for something that you really want, you can make it happen,” said Booher.