(Editor's note: Janine Shula is the Bruin Times Assistant Editor.)
Jenna Lamson, a former Hopi High student, won Miss Congeniality at the Miss Indian Arizona Pageant on Oct.8.
This award meant a lot to her because it showed every one what kind of personality she had. This award was given to the person who was the friendliest, most helpful, had a good attitude and just based on the personality so she was proud of the award that she received.
Lamson is 20-years-old, the daughter of Jolene Johns and the late Shannon Lamson, and from the village of Shungopavi.
Lamson said that this was important to her because she experienced something that she thought that she would never experience. Lamson wanted to do it for her family to show them what she wants for her people. It also helped her learn more about her culture and it helped her a lot with her public speaking.
The most important reason why she ran for Miss Indian Arizona was to go out and represent the Hopi/Tewa people. Lamson wanted to do this because it was the 50th anniversary of the Miss Indian Arizona pageant and it has been about four or five years since a Hopi ran for the title.
At the pageant, Lamson was vying for the title against seven other native women. The contestants were: Martha Martinez from the Salt River Pima/Maricopa Indian community, Letisha Ashley from the Navajo Nation, Edith Starr from the San Carlos Apache Tribe, Erin Manuel from the Tohono O' Odham Nation, Tia Benally from the Gila River Indian Community, Jaymee Moore from the Colorado River Indian Tribe, Aelina Hunter from the Hualapai Tribe and Hopi's Lamson.
Lamson was with the eight contestants for a week and they all became close friends. They shared stories with one another and she thought that they were all nice people. She learned something about each of their tribes and each one of them had interesting stories.
Lamson's talent that she did during the pageant was a song, which she learned from Tiffany Bahnimptewa. They had to perform a dance which was called the opening number and that they all had to do together. They were also scored on this. Other criteria that they were scored on were their evening gowns, traditional attire, talents, personal interviews and their oral presentations.
The only talent that she could have done better on was that she messed up on her song and forgot some parts of it because she didn't have much time to study it and she got nervous.
Lamson's friends and family were her main supporters. They helped her out with her travel expenses, fundraisers and everything else that she needed help with. She is thankful for everyone's support; without everyone's help and support she wouldn't have made this big accomplishment. When it was all over, she felt so relieved and proud of herself for what she has done for herself, family and friends. She said it takes a lot of time and courage to go out in front of a big crowd and do something like this and it's not easy. At times it was hard and could get frustrating and stressful because it takes a lot of fundraising and the contestants also got to have everything prepared
Lamson's plan is to go back to school to continue her education. She will be going to school at Scottsdale Community College. Then once she is done there she will be transferring to the University of Arizona. Lamson wants to major in sports medicine or nursing.