Meet the Hill City High School senior competing for Rising Star of the West

Updated: May. 2, 2022 at 6:17 PM MDT
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HILL CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Mikennah Oleson was born and raised in western South Dakota right outside of Hill City.

She enjoyed growing up in a small town and the sense of community that comes with it.

“You honestly get to know everybody in your town, which is something you don’t get everywhere else and I think it’s kind of amazing,” expressed Oleson.

Oleson, the youngest of 3, went a different direction than her older sisters when it came to school activities and decided sports weren’t for her.

“So, I’m in everything that has to do with the arts. I’m in band, I’m in choir, I love theater I’ve been in it since I was younger,” she explained.

Oleson is also politically involved in the community and school by helping the mayor of Hill City’s re-election and serving on the student council.

“Because, you know, might as well get involved in politics pretty early,” said Oleson.

Ultimately, it was her interest in journalism that drew her to the Rising Star of the West competition.

“I was like this would be an amazing opportunity to start looking into journalism more or start getting more experience or start seeing if I could look at a camera and not be really scared all of a sudden, get super anxious,” explained Oleson.

She enjoyed her experience competing and plans to attend Augustana University this fall combining those three interests with a double major in Journalism and Political Science and a minor in theater.

Although she’s ready to travel East River, Oleson said she’ll always miss her home.

“I’m going to, I’m going to miss the hills. I’m going to miss all of the trees, and not seeing a flat plain, and the wind over there. I know it’s going to drive me bonkers, but I don’t know. I’m a little excited,”

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