UPDATE – Beaverton model needs some hometown support in Maxim’s Finest contest

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Melissa Heaton of Beaverton is still in the hunt to be named Maxim’s Finest.

The 20-year-old model advanced to the wild card round after finishing second in her group through five preliminary phases. Voting runs until Oct. 18 in this round.

“I’m so thankful for the support thus far. It means the world to me,” Heaton said.

In a recent interview, Heaton said she decided to enter the contest during some downtime.

“After spending two months in Cape Town (South Africa) for shoots earlier this year, I haven’t been doing a ton with modelling, which is why I thought that entering this competition would be such a great idea,” she said.Heaton 3

“I have been taking a break to save money, get fit and hopefully travel most of next year.”

Heaton currently sits seventh in her group and is counting on some hometown support.

“I’m a small town girl with a big heart. I love country music and enjoy the simple things in life but I know how to embrace my wild side too,” her bio on the contest site reads.

When asked why she should be selected to win the competition, her answer was quite simple.

“I think I should be voted for Maxim’s Finest because I would love to inspire others to chase after their dreams no matter how crazy it may seem to them and the people around them. I also want to be someone that young girls can relate and look up to for inspiration and advice,” Heaton said, noting that she already has plans for the grand prize.

“I would give money back to my amazing mom she has helped me and believed in me since day one. I would also donate money to the Canadian Women’s Foundation and other local charities. I would save whatever money I had left for my future modelling career.”

Heaton’s first experience with modelling came in 2014 when she met photographer Melanie Rebane, who encouraged the teen to take part in a feature for Ottawa Bride Magazine.

She officially launched her modelling career shortly after graduating from Brock High School in the summer of 2015 when she signed up for the Top Model Search Canada competition on a whim and finished as the runner-up and captured the title of Best Swimwear Model.

Her success in the competition – which featured more than 100 of the top modelling talents from across the country walking the runway and posing for photo shoots – opened the door to numerous opportunities.

She signed with a management company shortly after and has gone on to work with some of the industry’s most prominent photographers.

“The highlight of my career so far was probably my trip to South Africa,” she said.

“I learned a lot about myself and grew as a model and as a person in general. It was also my first huge modelling trip and the first time I had friends around me that understand me and what I do. It was a trip of a lifetime to be honest.”

To vote for Heaton in the Maxim’s Finest competition, click HERE.