Brookings' own Evian Johnson among 16 vying for Miss South Dakota Teen crown

From left are Evian Johnson, Miss Jack’s Teen; and Isabella Gortmaker, Miss Brookings.

HOT SPRINGS — Sixteen young women from around the state will compete for the title of Miss South Dakota’s Teen 2023, June 1-2. The theme of this year’s program is Ignite the Night with delegates judged on interviews, talent, physical fitness, and red carpet. The new titleholder will be crowned Miss South Dakota’s Teen in the first year of a name change from Miss South Dakota’s Outstanding Teen.

The competition will be held at the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, in conjunction with the Miss South Dakota competition. Showtime will be 6 p.m. Thursday, June 1, and 6 p.m. Friday, June 2, with the new Miss South Dakota’s Teen crowned at the conclusion of Friday’s performance. Tickets are available at beginning May 25.

Throughout its 76-year history, the Miss South Dakota program has impacted 18,000 young women. Last year, nearly $59,000 in scholarships were awarded during the three-day event. The Miss South Dakota Scholarship Program’s mission is to uphold the four points of the crown: Service, Scholarship, Success, and Style.

Participation in this program provides young women with the opportunity to promote a platform of community service and share their talents, intelligence, and positive values while serving as role models in their communities. The program is run entirely by volunteers and is supported by private donations which help the delegates in their pursuit of academic excellence, service, and lifelong success.

The new Miss South Dakota’s Outstanding Teen will take home at least $2,000 in scholarships, with a total of more than $12,000 in scholarship funds available to candidates.

The new titleholder will compete at the 2024 Miss America’s Teen Competition in January 2024. The Teen Pageant is open to young women ages 13-18.

The pageant will feature Olivia Odenbrett of Brandon, the current Miss South Dakota’s Teen. Olivia represented South Dakota at the Miss America’s Teen Competition in 2022.

The young women competing are (name, age, title, hometown, talent, and Community Service Initiative):

• Amelie Wilcox, 17, Miss Rapid City’s Teen, Rapid City, Talent: Musician, Community Service Initiative: Autoimmune Disease Awareness

• Briley Hope Steffensen, 16, Miss Siouxland’s Teen, Yankton, Talent: Pointe Dance, Community Service Initiative: Be True 2 You

• Calliana Fields, 17, Miss Dakota Plains’ Teen, De Smet, Talent: Vocal, Community Service Initiative: Sobriety In The United States

Caroline Haugo, 15, Miss Railroad Junction’s Teen, Rapid City, Talent: Musical Theater Vocal, Community Service Initiative: The Hilltop, I Think We Can

•Crimsun Hotz, 16, Miss Badlands’ Teen, Pine Ridge, Talent: Singing, Community Service Initiative: Cultural Diversity Awareness

•Emma Niles, 15, Miss Fall River Balloon Festival’s Teen, Hot Springs, Talent: Martial Arts Demonstration, Community Service Initiative: Mission 22

•Evian Johnson, Miss Jack’s Teen, 15, Brookings, Talent: Hip Hop Dance, Community Service Initiative: Use Your Power

•Isabella Gortmaker, Miss Brookings’ Teen, Mount Vernon, Talent: Slam Poetry, Community Service Initiative: Thank You Troops

•Jerica Ratigan, 15, Miss Huron’s Teen, Frankfort, Talent: Dance, Community Service Initiative: Seatbelt Safety,

•Karina Novotny, 16, Miss State Fair’s Teen, Hot Springs, Talent: Hula Hoop/Vocal, Community Service Initiative: Adoption Advocacy

•Kaylee Tostenson, 16, Miss Hot Springs’ Teen, Pierre, Talent: Flags, Community Service Initiative: Life Jacket Safety

• Megan Kogel, 14, Miss Clay County Fair’s Teen, Woonsocket, SD, Talent: American Sign Language Interpretation, Community Service Initiative: Bear Hugs

• Natalie Biegler, 18, Miss Hub City’s Teen, Timber Lake, Talent: Unicycle, Community Service Initiative: Know Your Flow: Solutions for Period Problems and Menstruation Education

• Neveah Kee, 17, Miss Missouri River’s Teen, Faulkton, Talent: Vocal, Community Service Initiative: Elder Abuse Awareness

• Riley Lockhart, 15, Miss Rolling Plains’ Teen, Hot Springs, Talent: Piano, Community Service Initiative: Artists’ Block

• Sydney Meissner, 18, Miss Rushmore’s Teen, Rapid City, Talent: Contemporary/Lyrical Dance, Community Service Initiative: Push for Better Secondary Language in Education

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