Matthews crowned 2019-20 Junior Miss Cherokee
From left to are Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., 2019-20 Junior Miss Cherokee Desiree Matthews and first lady January Hoskin. Matthews won the crown on Aug. 17 during the 28th annual Junior Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizen Desiree Matthews, 16, of Watts, was crowned 2019-20 Junior Miss Cherokee on Aug. 17 after competing at the 28th annual Junior Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition.
While representing the tribe as Junior Miss Cherokee, Matthews, a junior at Colcord High School, will serve as a goodwill ambassador to promote the CN and share the tribe’s culture and history.
She said the true meaning of serving as the next Junior Miss Cherokee would not fully resonate until her tenure ends next August. “I really couldn’t fully answer what it means to be named Junior Miss Cherokee until the end of my reign, but I am very honored to represent the Cherokee Nation and I hope that I can be the best that I can be.”
Matthews is the daughter of Mark and Miranda Matthews and is a member of the 2018-19 CN Tribal Youth Council.
“I am always in awe of and inspired by our youth who enter our annual leadership competitions. It shows great courage, but also a passion for their tribe and its culture, history and heritage,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “We are very proud of each young lady who competed in this year’s Junior Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition and congratulate Miss Matthews on being named the next Junior Miss Cherokee. I know she will be a great ambassador of our great tribe.”
During the competition, contestants are judged on their use of Cherokee language, a cultural presentation and a speech on their platform, as well as their responses to an impromptu question.
Matthews told the traditional Cherokee creation story as her cultural presentation. Her platform speech focused on the opioid abuse prevention. Matthews also answered an impromptu question on what advice she would give to Native youth growing up in this age of social media.
Jasmine Carpitcher, 17, of Tahlequah, was named first runner-up and Raynee Nofire, 16, of Salina, was named second runner-up.
Judges for Junior Miss Cherokee this year were Morgan Rodman, Marie Eubanks, Derrick Vann and Cora Flute.