Brookings to host Miss South Dakota Scholarship contest

From left are Molly Crawford, Carly Goodhardt, Miranda O’Bryan and Maleah Eschenbaum. (Courtesy photos)

BROOKINGS — Four area women — Molly Crawford, Miranda O’Bryan, Maleah Eschenbaum and Carly Goodhardt — will compete in the 76th Annual Miss South Dakota Scholarship competition June 1-3 at the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center in Brookings.

The four are among 20 delgates hoping to be crowned the next Miss South Dakota and compete in the Miss America competition in early 2024.

Crawford is originally from Danville, Kentucky, and attends South Dakota State University. She currently holds the title of Miss Fall River Balloon Festival.

O’Bryan is a graduate of SDSU and works as a news anchor for KOTA Territory News/KEVN Black Hills FOX.

Eschenbaum is originally from Aberdeen, graduated from Augustana University, and is working as an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for the Aberdeen Public School District. She currently holds the title of Miss Brookings.

Goodhart is originally from Browns Valley, Minnesota, graduated from South Dakota State University, and is currently pursuing a master of science in nursing: neonatal clinical nurse specialist from East Carolina University. She is working as the Neonatal Program Specialist at Sanford Children’s Hospital. She currently holds the title of Miss Dakota Prairie.

The theme of this year’s program is “Ignite the Night” with delegates judged on interviews, talent, and red carpet. As part of the competition, each candidate champions a social impact project.

Crawford has selected “Foster Kits: Welcome Home, and Mean it,” focusing on giving foster families the resources and support they need to take care of these children. Crawford has seen how the foster system does not set up children for success, she said, “My goal is to help these children realize their potential and let them know that they are world changers.”

O’Bryan has selected Page Turners: Fall in Love with Reading to encourage lifelong readers and increase literacy rates. In a few short years, she has donated almost 6,000 books, built and set up six Little Free Libraries across the state, and started a podcast to share her message. She creates and instills a passion for reading by providing access, education, and representation.

Eschenbaum has selected “D/deaf: More Than Looks” which works to bridge the gap between the hearing and deaf communities. She works to teach people of all ages necessary and basic conversations in ASL. Her goal is to bring accessible communication to the entire state of South Dakota.

Goodhart has selected “Woman Up: Upping the Education & Access to Women’s Health” which focuses on empowering women to “Woman Up” and take charge of their health. After losing three women in her family from completely preventable illnesses, Goodhart felt she had to do more to help women live longer healthier lives.

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. The Miss South Dakota Competition is an official preliminary of the Miss America Competition, the nation’s leading achievement program and the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women.

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.

Tickets go on sale May 25 at For more information, contact: Glenda Mostek, [email protected].