MESA, Ariz. – Jan. 29, 2024 -- Kadence Sayles (Ft. McDowell Yavapai/Lakota), was crowned Miss Native MCC, and First Attendant Kaitlyn Yazzie (Navajo) was sashed during the winter pageant at Mesa Community College. Contestants participated in qualifying sessions including interviewing with the judges, introducing themselves, answering impromptu questions, demonstrating traditional talent, giving oral presentations of their platform and presenting a modern talent.
Sayles is studying creative writing at MCC. Her platform is to uplift and support the voices of two-spirit and queer individuals at MCC and surrounding communities. Her goals are to graduate from MCC and transfer to Northern Arizona University to study screenwriting so she can produce original stories that truthfully reflect her Native cultures.
Yazzie is a student senate officer for the Inter-Tribal Student Organization and an aspiring designer. She said she draws her inspiration from her mother, who is also a designer of traditional Navajo clothing. Her platform is to enhance Indigenous representation in the fashion industry, while creatively infusing both traditional and contemporary elements.
Margaret Talia White, senior student services specialist, said, “The American Indian Institute at MCC has been hosting this event since 2014 but, due to the pandemic, we had to suspend the ceremony. We are so pleased that we were able to re-establish this important celebration. Miss Native MCC and the First Attendant serve as Native American Student Ambassadors engaging with and representing their Indigenous communities and promoting the many opportunities at MCC. Groups wanting to schedule an appearance should contact our office at email@example.com or call 480-461-7931.”
The royalty court is hosting and attending events throughout their reign to promote their platforms and raise awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples. Sayles and Yazzie have begun attending campus, local and regional events including the Mountain View Alumni Night, the Skoden Winter Market, the S'edav Va'aki Museum (formerly the Pueblo Grande Museum), the MCC President’s Spring 2024 Welcome and the Mesa Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. They will be honored guests at the upcoming 2024 Thunderbird Pow Wow, Saturday, March 9, MCC Southern and Dobson campus, 1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa, Arizona, 85202.
Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, 480-461-7892, firstname.lastname@example.org
The MCC American Indian Institute (Aii), celebrating more than 35 years of service to Indigenous students and communities, provides support and encouragement to more than 2,000 Native American students from the 22 federally recognized tribes of Arizona as well as out-of-state tribes. MCC has the largest population of Native American students of any college in Arizona. The Institute assists students with enrollment, educational planning, class selection, scholarships and other on-campus support resources. The Aii Welcome Center provides an inclusive area for students to gather, study and collaborate. MCC has a Navajo language course, the most prevalent Native American language spoken today. Aii strives to include community engagement, university collaboration, resource development, K-12 relationships, student support services and clubs, tribal relationship building, outreach, and recruitment in its strategic goals. For more information, visit mesacc.edu/students/american-indian-institute.
Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. Host to more than 24,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. MCC is transforming student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution. Nearly 50% of MCC students are the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest Indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The American Indian Institute serves students from 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes and out-of-state tribes. Our diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit mesacc.edu to learn more.
MCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), hlcommission.org.
The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit maricopa.edu/non-discrimination.