Mattos crowned Mrs. USA Ambassador South Dakota
By Kyle Mooty
Lockhart native Kirstie Suerte Mattos won the USA Mrs. Ambassador South Dakota Pageant on Saturday. She also won the People’s Choice Award for raising the most money.
The event was held at Canton, South Dakota, about 24 miles south of Sioux Falls.
Mattos will now compete at the USA Mrs. Ambassador national pageant in Orlando, Florida in July.
“Leading up to the event, I was excited to compete and little by little got my outfits together,” Mattos said. “I met so many wonderful people; Trinity and Kaitlyn were in my division and had competed before. They were super helpful giving me tips and complimented me on my stage presence and ability to think on my toes.”
A 2011 graduate of Lockhart High School, Mattos and her husband, Alan Martinez, and their two-year-old son, Astraios, moved to Chamberlain, South Dakota last year. She left a career in engineering to become a House Parent at St. Joseph’s Indiana School.
Kirstie and Alan are entrusted with Native American students from nearby reservations and cities. They currently have nine girls in grades 7 and 8, and they are at the house six days a week.
“Winning means the world to my girls; they were able to attend the first competition day and were extremely supportive,” Kirstie Mattis said. “They are even more excited to hopefully compete next year.
“I informed my family through calls and text messages and they were over the moon. My husband, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and son were in attendance along with a family friend and his son who calls me mom. I have been keeping everyone updated and they are excited to see me advancing to Nationals.”
Mattos is of Taino descent.
Mattos, is the daughter of Angel Mattos and Daisy Mireles, and granddaughter of Jimmy and Toni Mireles (Guadalupanos of Lockhart’s St. Mary’s Catholic Church).
Her desire in the pageants is to bring awareness to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (M.M.I.W.).
Donations for Mattos’ USA Mrs. Ambassador National Pageant can be sent through he Cash App at Kmattos11 in the section for art supplies for her live-in students. Mattos will be in Lockhart Friday visiting businesses around town that have posted her photo and barcode where donations can be made for her students and her National Pageant trip.
Mattos will also be at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library on Friday at 5 p.m. for a Meet and Greet.