Your next Miss South Dakota has a good chance of being your former Miss SDSU. In fact, more Miss SDSUs have become Miss South Dakota than any other titleholders in the state.
The Miss SDSU pageant is important to present titleholders, former pageant winners, community members and students because of how it has impacted their lives and given them new opportunities.
Any interested contestant, whether they are an SDSU student or not, can compete in the pageant, held on campus every November.
Winners of the competitions go on to compete for Miss South Dakota June 16 in Hot Springs.
Current Miss SDSU Sarah Scott is excited to take her crown to Hot Springs.
Her responsibilities as Miss SDSU include speaking out about issues that are important to the campus and community as well as making a statement about an issue or organization she is passionate about, referred to as her “platform.”
“The most rewarding part is getting to be a role model for so many people,” Scott said.
Before becoming Miss SDSU, Scott wanted to use her experience as a dance instructor and find a way to inspire other young women.
She has turned her passion for bodybuilding, fitness and food into her platform “Food for Thought.”
Her platform works to provide students with healthier lunch and snack options, while also educating them about the benefits of living a well-balanced lifestyle.
Miranda Mack, former Miss SDSU and current Miss South Dakota, also looks back fondly on her days as Miss SDSU titleholder.
“I was only Miss SDSU for a few months, but it was a huge deal for me,” she said.
Most of her family were Jackrabbits, and because of their shared love for the university, her time as Miss SDSU was special to them too. Being Miss SDSU also gave Mack the opportunity to perform at the Performing Arts Center, which was momentous because of her passion for singing.
Mack believes the reason Miss SDSU titleholders repeatedly become the next Miss South Dakota is because of the quality of the contest and competitors.
“The Miss SDSU pageant has also been historically well-run and well-organized,” she said. “Which leads to good contestant turnout, which makes for a more competitive pageant.”
Mack is one of many women who only held one local title before going on to win Miss South Dakota.
She then competed for the Miss America title, and even though she did not win, she still continues to work on her platform “Music for Life,” recruits for and attends local pageants and acts as a role model for the young women of South Dakota.
Alongside Sarah Scott, Samantha Gervais, who is Miss Brookings, is one of the contestants vying for Mack’s title this coming June.
Gervais cites Mack as one of her inspirations for competing in pageants.
“I have seen how much of an impact Miranda has had on her community and the state, and that made me want to impact our community in a similar way,” she said.
Gervais works to promote public health, exercise and healthy eating under her platform as Miss Brookings. She also helps raise money and awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network.
She is passionate about encouraging anyone who is interested in competing in the pageant to push beyond their fear and just go for it.
“You will have the amazing opportunity to meet other young ladies . . . and have the chance to grow in your talents and passions,” she said.
Many small towns do not have their own pageants, so for the women who still want to be a part of the pageant world, Miss SDSU is the perfect place to start.
According to MissSD.org: ”Whether you want to become a doctor or a dancer, an accountant or an architect, the Miss South Dakota and Miss America organization’s have an opportunity that will help bring you closer to achieving your goals.”
If you or someone you know is interested in competing, you can go to MissSD.org for more information.