Carlson School sophomore Meridith Gould was crowned Miss South Dakota 2014 on June 21, and will advance to compete in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. this September. Gould, a Finance Risk Management major, bested 13 other contestants on her platform "Financial Responsibility Mentorship for Students."

"The Miss America Organization places its focus not on finding the perfect model, but on finding the perfect role model," she says. "It's through embodiment of the four points of the crown -- success, style, scholarship, and service -- that I can become the role model that young people across the state will look up to as an inspiration and mentor."

For her talent, Gould performed ballet en pointe for the judges. She is the first former Miss South Dakota Outstanding Teen to go on to win the Miss South Dakota crown. The 19-year-old Sioux Falls, S.D. resident was awarded the Ray Peterson Rookie of the Year $500 scholarship for the first-year contestant with the highest overall score.

The Miss America pageant will air live on ABC on September 14.

Photo credit: Bob Grandpre, Grandpre Photography