Miss South Dakota USA

Tessa Dee

Miss South Dakota USA 2017

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Born in Mitchell, South Dakota, Tessa grew up calling the Corn Palace City her home. Throughout her childhood, Tessa was a competitive gymnast, which gave her the opportunity to travel the state of South Dakota and the Midwest. Her gymnastics experience led her to two high school state championships and three All-America honors for the sport of gymnastics. Along with gymnastics, Tessa competed on the track team running hurdles and sprints for Mitchell High School. This experience led to a Division I opportunity and scholarship to attend the University of South Dakota, where she then obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science, and later, a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies.

During her time at the University of South Dakota, Tessa found a local and state need to improve literacy in children. Due to her own positive experiences and love for reading found in childhood, she founded Project Bookworm, an organization to promote and encourage reading in children. Through Project Bookworm, Tessa has read and spoken to over 200 groups of people, encouraging childhood reading, along with providing children and parents exciting resources and programs in which to learn and grow. Tessa has donated over 1,000 children’s books to some of the most poverty-stricken areas in the nation and hopes to continue to spread her love of reading as Miss South Dakota USA. Along with Project Bookworm, Tessa supported and worked with a number of various charities and organizations through various campus organizations and her sorority, Alpha Phi, including the Vermillion Back Pack Program, the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

On her own health and fitness journey, Tessa found a love of helping and inspiring others to be their best selves. She often holds fitness and wellness challenges online, along with privately training clients virtually and in-person, helping over 160 women and men (so far!) find confidence, strength, and their own inner-power through improving their fitness and health. By holding these accountability challenges and groups, Tessa has found that not only does it help her participants, but it has also inspired her to continue to be the best version of herself possible!

Tessa looks forward to both the entertainment and community service opportunities being Miss South Dakota USA provides, as she would love to turn her passion for health, wellness, and serving others into a full-time career in the entertainment industry. She is especially excited to dedicate her time serving various charity organizations throughout her year as Miss South Dakota USA, and improving the lives of those around her through giving back to her community and state.

Tessa has high aspirations for her year of service and hopes to be the first woman from the state of South Dakota to capture the Miss USA crown.


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