Tessa is the Communications Associate at the Democracy Alliance.
During her time as a student at the University of South Dakota, Tessa found a local and state need to improve the literacy rates in South Dakota children. She created Project Bookworm, a project to promote and encourage reading not only in school, but at homes across the state. Through Project Bookworm and the platform of serving as Miss South Dakota 2013, Tessa brought her project to over 200 groups, schools, and classrooms to encourage childhood reading and to provide both children and parents with engaging resources to better their chances of success.
Inspired by these experiences, Tessa earned her Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies with the intention of helping non-profits grow and share their mission with a larger audience. She has professionally fundraised, executed events, and created communication strategies for a number of organizations including the Miss America Organization, LifeScape South Dakota, and, most recently, serving as the Regional Development Director for the American Heart Association.