A local teen earned the title of Miss Teen South Dakota International 2018 in October.
Caitlin Olson of Tea won the crown Oct. 22 in Sioux Falls. She will compete in the Miss Teen International pageant in Charleston, W.Va., next July. She will compete against other teens from across the country and other countries.
During the South Dakota competition, Olson competed in interview, fun fashion, active wear, evening wear, on-stage question and on-state platform speech. Her platform was entitled “Go Girl,” which is targeted toward middle school girls.
“Go Girl is a platform based directly toward middle school girls. It is inspiring them to be confident, beautiful and strong. It’s a suicide prevention-based platform. It has a lot to do with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,” Olson said.
The suicide prevention platform was an issue close to her heart.
“I picked the platform I chose not only am I a suicide attempt survivor, but I’ve lost two friends to suicide. I believe that it’s a bigger issue than what some people see it as,” Olson said. “Getting that awareness out there and to inspire and be a mentor to these young girls to raise their voice if they are struggling.”
During her reign, she will make appearances at middle schools around South Dakota about her platform. She wants to remind middle school girls they are confident and beautiful.
“They are beautiful in their own skin and if they have a confident mindset they can conquer anything,” she said.
Besides Olson’s crowning, South Dakota International Pageants also crowned Mrs. South Dakota International Jill Turbak, Miss South Dakota International Jenna Schweiss, Junior Miss International Bella Hodgkins, Young Miss International Hailey Thomas and Little Miss International Brookelyn Oehme.
Olson competed against four other teens before hearing her named called as the winner.
“I was completely shocked when I heard my name being called for the title. I actually cried,” Olson said. “I made it a point to look out at my family and wave and tell them I love them. I could not do any of this without any of my family.”
Olson graduated from Tea Area in May and is currently attending the University Center in Sioux Falls. She is double majoring in psychology and family services. Her goal is to become a childlife specialist.
Olson and the other titleholders will make group appearances throughout the year like parades and the Great Plains Zoo’s annual Zoo Boo.