By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Four young women will compete for the right to be an ambassador of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in the annual Miss Cherokee pageant scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3 at 6pm at the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center. Shelby Parker, Caressa Jackson, Amorie Gunter and Taran Swimmer will vie for the crown.
“We have four very beautiful, smart and intelligent young ladies competing in the pageant this year, and I have really enjoyed working with each of them,” said Kristina Hyatt, pageant co-coordinator. “I know that any one of them will represent our Tribe very well. They will have a lot to offer for the Cherokee community.”
Parker, 22, is from the Wolfetown Community and is a 2011 graduate of Swain County High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Furman University earlier this year. “My platform is The Movement Project which is a program for our youth. I hope to encourage healthy living and healthy choices throughout the communities with my platform.”
Jackson, 20, is from the Wolfetown Community and is a 2013 graduate of Cherokee High School. She is currently a student at Southwestern Community College with plans to transfer to a four-year university. “My platform is the Cherokee Youth Garden and the importance of teaching our youth gardening. My goal is to make this a bigger program and to get more people involved.”
Gunter, 20, is from the Birdtown Community and is a 2013 graduate of Swain County High School. She is currently a student at Southwestern Community College and will transfer soon to Western Carolina University where she plans to enter the Pre-Vet program. “My platform will be bringing childhood brain tumor awareness to Cherokee as well as other Native American tribes. I also plan to help beautify each community.”
Swimmer, 19, is from the Big Cove Community and is a 2014 graduate of Cherokee High School. She is currently a student at Western Carolina University with a major in graphic design and a minor in Cherokee studies. “My platform will be on High School Dropout Prevention, and my goal will be to help our children overcome the dangers of dropping out of high school.”
Saturday’s pageant is free of charge and is open to the public.