Tessa DeeMiss South Dakota 2013

Congratulations Tessa Dee, Miss South Dakota 2013.

To help you get to know our new Miss South Dakota better, we thought we'd sit down for a little Q and A. Here she is, Tessa Dee, Miss South Dakota 2013: 

Q: What was going through your mind as you were one of the final two on stage - just before they announced that you were Miss South Dakota?

A: Even though my heart was racing and my palms were probably sweating (sorry, Morgan!) I was content with what I had done previously during the week. My goal was to be the best Tessa I could be and I felt comfortable in that moment knowing I had done what I came to do.

Q: Has is sunk in yet? What have the first few days as the new Miss South Dakota been like?

A: Busy!!! The first week has been very eventful. Traveling the state, being in parades, doing Miss America Paperwork and working on my platform, Project Bookworm, have taken up the majority of my time.

Q: Why did you decide to get involved with the Miss SD organization in the first place?

A: It was something I had always been interested in. Because of my involvement in other activities like track and gymnastics, I thought my schedule was too busy to ever attempt something that far out of my comfort zone. I'm so thankful I went for it!

Q: What advice would you give to a young woman considering getting involved in the Miss South Dakota or Miss South Dakota's Outstanding Teen program?

A: Do it. Don't let anything or anyone hold you back. I can't imagine my life without this organization and my only regret is simply not getting involved sooner. I think anyone who has been touched by this organization in any way, shape or form would agree with me.

Q: What is your platform?

A: My platform is Project Bookworm. It is a children's literacy organization that I created in 2011. Through Project Bookworm, I create connections with children, their parents, and books. I do this by facilitating "Build-a-Book" workshops and after school programs.

Q: What was your talent??

A: My talent is a gymnastics routine to "Bad" by Michael Jackson. I have been flipping and tumbling ever since I could walk and completely enjoy performing in front of an audience. I thrive on the adrenaline rush.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am from Mitchell,SD.

Q: Other than the Corn Palace, tell me something great about your Mitchell?

A: Something I love about my hometown is the support the community gives each other. From my days as a high school gymnast at track athlete to now being Miss South Dakota, I have felt nothing but love and support from everyone I come in contact with.

Q: Where did you go to college? What was your major?

A: I went to the University of South Dakota and just graduated with a major in Health Science and a minor in Psychology. I want to go to graduate school for Kinesiology and eventually become a Physical Therapist.

Q: What is your dream job and why?

A: My dream job is to be the next Jillian Michaels, but nicer of course! I love learning about and cultivating health not only in myself, but in others too. I hope my experience this year as Miss South Dakota and my future masters degree in Kinesiology will help me change lives for the better.

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: PINK! My room is painted "Exuberant Pink". Yes, I might have picked it for the name!

Q: Do you have pets?

A: I have two little dogs named Rex and Duke and one big, fat cat named Zip.

Q: Do you play any musical instruments?

A: I like to think I can play musical instruments! Playing piano and my guitar are ways I pass the time but I am no rock star (except in my car or shower. I sound great in there.)

Q: Any hobbies?

A: I love to read (hence my platform, Project Bookworm), workout, do anything outdoors, and hang out with my friends. Even though I am a social person, I really enjoy wearing sweats, laying on my couch, and watching Arrested Development and Modern Family. I love to laugh!

Q: Are there any fun or interesting "little known facts" about Tessa that we should know?

A: I make the world's best oatmeal, am missing a permanent tooth, and while I have fallen many times in gymnastics and track, the only time I have ever broken a bone was on the monkey bars in 4th grade.

Check back often for updates as we follow Tessa through her year as Miss South Dakota. 

Watch Tessa compete for the Miss America crown on Sunday, September 15, live from Atlantic City on ABC Television!