Meet Miss South Dakota USA, Tessa Dee

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Mitchell’s own Tessa Dee was crowned Miss South Dakota USA back in October and is heading to Las Vegas for the Miss USA Competition.

On May 1, Dee will fly to Las Vegas, where she will participate in two weeks of preliminary competition activities to determine if she will place in the Top 15. She will be judged on her interview, evening wear and swimsuit modeling.

“To stand on that stage, before those judges and really be your genuine self, that takes a lot. It takes guts and courage,” says Dee.

Dee graduated from USD with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and a Master’s in Communication Studies. She is using her time in the spotlight to promote literacy in children with her organization Project Bookworm. Through this project, Dee has donated over 1,000 children’s books to poverty-stricken areas.

Dee says she’s overcome the fear of failure. Her advice for preparing for a pageant is to “go for it, be confident and know your worth.” She says she gets her confidence from working through her failures and being the best possible version of herself. She says she doesn’t let the fear of failure get in her way.

“If you don’t go for something, I think that can be your biggest regret in life,” says Dee.

This isn’t the first time Dee has been crowned. She placed as first-runner up two years in a row for the Miss South Dakota USA pageant, as well as Miss South Dakota in the Miss America program in 2013.



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