by LIZ ONUFER | photo by Love, Jayde Photography

Serious & Silly

Clowning around for Sierra Matthews is a competitive sport – literally. This 16-year-old student star from Vista began clowning when she was four years old. In her first Jr. Joeys clowning competition during her sixth grade year, Sierra won the gold medal. Her clown persona, Pinkie, was judged on hair, makeup, outfit, and a skit performance. But it’s not all fun and games for Sierra – she is also actively involved in Girl Scouts and school sports at Rancho Buena Vista High School (RBVHS).


The Girl Scouts has been an integral part of Sierra’s life for the last 12 years. Her grandmother encouraged her to participate at a young age, and Sierra has been active with the Vista Service Unit ever since. “I like that I can give back to my community and learn new things every day,” Sierra explained. Her participation has earned her multiple awards from the organization, including two of the highest honors a Girl Scout can earn, the Bronze and Silver Awards. Sierra volunteered at the Casita Center Elementary afterschool program, as well as planned and hosted a Girl Scouts recruitment event. To complement the service work, Sierra’s troop has taken memorable trips, including an overnight stay in the Tunnel of Sharks at Sea World. “It was so amazing to fall asleep with them swimming above our heads,” shared Sierra. Recently, the troop traveled to San Francisco where the girls learned about managing money and the logistics of trip-planning.

“I like that I can give back to my community and learn new things every day.”

In her junior year at RBVHS, Sierra is on the water polo and swim teams. Her favorite subject is math, and she plans on pursuing a career as a veterinary technician. “There are so many animals out in the world, and I want to be able to help as many as possible, even if just by showing them love and affection,” Sierra acknowledged.

The women in Sierra’s life have helped to create her solid foundation. She credits her mother for always standing by her side, her grandmother for inspiring her creativity, and Mrs. Jennipher, her Girl Scout troop leader, for the confidence to accomplish anything she sets her mind on. “She always pushes me to do my best and be myself at the same time,” Sierra said.

With strong women mentors and a solid foundation in character and education, Sierra Matthews is on her way to saving animals, sharing laughter, and making a difference in her community.

Meet Sierra

Name: Sierra Matthews (16)
School: Rancho Buena Vista High School
Grade: 11
Parent: Beth Heide
Siblings: Austin (17), Christopher (21), Jordan (8), Kirsten (6)
Favorite Place in 92081: My grandparent’s neighborhood