For five years, Marissa Honey-Plata had been on a mission to reach the Miss California final.
So, when the previous director of Miss Sacramento County decided to take a break from the pageant, Honey-Plata swung into action.
“Somebody, please pick this up,” she pleaded to various local pageant directors. After all, the state Capitol needed to be represented at the state level.
Honey-Plata, who had finished first runner-up the last three years, was crushed when the local pageant was canceled.
In stepped Karen Grimaldi to organize Miss Capitol City Sacramento.
And, surprise, surprise, Honey-Plata won after having missed out at Miss Sierra Nevada.
The pageant life was not in her thinking at first.
“When I graduated high school, I had a plan but that fell through,” said Honey-Plata.
She Googled ‘scholarships’ and found the Sacramento pageant.
“Maybe I can do this,” she thought. “I can speak. I can walk in high heels. Five years later, I’m hooked!
“This is definitely something I’m on board with.”
Honey-Plata has felt an “absolutely insane” personal growth since her entry into pageants.
“I am more confident than ever,” she told her Facebook followers. “I hope in this last year I can walk away with not only a title, crown and sash, but also the feeling of leaving everything on stage with no regrets.
Honey-Plata has been handling weddings since she was 14 when she handed her mother’s wedding. She began her Meant 2 Bee event planning business earlier this month.
“It’s gone so amazing!” she said about her business.
Honey-Plata has performed vocals and dance at her previous pageants. However, a “bad” car accident limited her dancing, and “there are so many competitive singers.”
Seeking something different, she settled on performance painting after meeting David Garibaldi. “I looked up to him and picked up that talent,” she said.
Her social impact initiative is ‘Let’s Move!,’ which attempts to get more children into an active lifestyle.
“It’s not just about physical change but social change,” said Honey-Plata. “I grew up Section 8, so we never had access to healthy food. I never got that education.”
She has a collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia with an estimated worth of $4,000.
“I’ve been listening to his music ever since I was 3,” she said.
Meet Miss Capitol City Sacramento Marissa Honey-Plata
Born: San José
Education: Majoring in business management at Sacramento State University. Earned AA degree at Sierra College. Graduated from Roseville High School in 2012.
Family: Mother, Amber Gonzalvez; father, David Plata; two half siblings and a step sister.
Talent: Performance painting
Social impact initiative: Let’s Move!
Interesting facts: Has a Michael Jackson memorabilia valued at $4,000; started her own event planning business Meant 2 Bee; has granted wishes for Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Pageant schedule: Wednesday interview, onstage interview and evening wear; Thursday talent.