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The American Indian Center for Excellence and the Native American Student Association at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College hosted the 12th Annual Miss Indian NEO pageant. Jayla Lucas of the Cherokee Nation from Catoosa, Oklahoma, was crowned Miss Indian NEO 2023.

Lucas said, “I want to use this platform to educate others about the educational resources available for Native American students.”

Lucas is a sophomore majoring in elementary education. She is a goalkeeper for the NEO Women’s Soccer team and a member of the Native American Student Association. 

The competition is open to female NEO students who meet GPA requirements. Along with the title and the chance to compete in the national competition, NEO Presidential Partners awards a $200 scholarship.

The NEO student body is approximately 15% Native American, and Miami, Oklahoma, is home to nine federally recognized tribes.

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