Number one, or number 51

MINOT, N.D. – Of course, competing in pageants was not a part of the plan.

“I grew up playing in the dirt,” Sidni Kast ’19 said. “I’ve never been a ‘pageant girl.’ It was never something that was on my radar.”

Having earned her undergraduate degree at Minot State University in biology, the Minot native is now working towards her doctorate in physical therapy at the University of North Dakota while also wearing the Miss North Dakota crown. Competing in the Miss America Organization began as a scholarship opportunity for Kast, but it has taken new form since first competing in Miss Norsk Hostfest in 2019. 

“I had no idea that running for Miss Norsk Hostfest would allow me to run for Miss North Dakota,” Kast said. “That's where the whole journey began. After learning that, I was convinced to do it because, not only did it give me more scholarship opportunity, but it allowed me to perform on a stage. That’s something I hadn't been able to do in years.

“After doing Miss North Dakota for the first time in 2021, I really wasn't sure if I was going to continue competing. I mean, I was 23 at the time. I knew I was about to start my doctorate program. That's a big commitment. I thought about it for a while and decided, why not? I get to be a physical therapist for the rest of my life. You can only be Miss North Dakota one year.”

Staying true to herself throughout the whole process was important to Kast.

“It was important for me to focus not so much on what people expect you to say on stage or expect you to look like. I was very focused on being me,” she said. “I will credit all of my success to being myself throughout this whole process. I wasn’t trying to answer questions based on who's listening, but on who I am. And then it all just unfolded just the way it was supposed to, and I'm very grateful for it.”

Before Kast began competing in pageants, she was a student at Minot State, and her time there set herself up for what was to come. 

“I loved Minot State,” she said. “It’s a place I will always call home. It prepared me for this type of environment with its inclusion of so many others, since Minot State is one of those colleges that accepts in-state tuition from people around the world. It really gave me insight into different cultures, different backgrounds, and different personalities that you can still find similarities with and can connect with.”


The idea of inclusion ties into Kast’s Social Impact Initiative, a project within the Miss America pageant that aims to make a difference in one’s community.

“My Social Impact Initiative is called the One Body Movement, focusing on mind, body, and soul when it comes to our overall health,” she said. “It's not always how you look, but how you feel that's really going to define your success.”

Kast’s One Body Movement will take shape at school tours as she initiates conversations with people of all ages.

“My biggest thing with kids especially is getting them outside, reminding them that physical activity is so important, especially at a young age, as well as eating right,” Kast explained. “With middle school and high school students, it’s focusing on not letting other people’s opinion of you decide your own. The most important person that you have to take care of is yourself. For adults, I feel like the adult population is often caregivers, whether it's your children or your parents in a nursing home. They forget that we have to take care of ourselves before we can focus on others. We need to focus on our health for long-term results and not just short-term.” 

Looking ahead to December, Kast is eager for the next steps of her journey, regardless of the outcome.

“To have the opportunity to be Miss America — I mean, that is something no one ever thinks about, right?” she said. “I mean, I’ve barely even thought about that yet. I'm so excited to meet all the other candidates that are representing their states. I think it would be amazing to represent North Dakota, whether I'm number one or I'm number 51. I'm going to be happy representing North Dakota no matter what.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 07/28/22   

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