Simone Esters wins Miss America writing competition

MISS AMERICA 2019 Nia Franklin (left), Miss Missouri Simone Esters, winner of the Beacom STEM scholarship, and Miss America Outstanding Teen Payton May join President Jose-Marie Griffiths at the award presentation on Tuesday.

The Miss America Organization and The Miss America Foundation have announced the 2020 scholarship award winner for The Dakota State University and Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences STEM Scholarship. She is Simone Esters, Miss Missouri.

Esters will receive an unrestricted cash award of $5,000 and the ability to enroll at DSU for either an undergraduate degree or a post-graduate degree, for a total scholarship value that could exceed $85,000.

The 51 candidates were asked to write a blog, tweet and Instagram post in answer to this question: "Technology is changing faster than at any other time in history. While these advances can make our lives easier, they also put us at risk. What is the greatest technological threat to our safety and security, and what should be done about it?"

Esters focused on social engineering, writing, "We need to re-engineer our minds to outsmart the social engineers who are endangering our safety and security."

A journalism student at the University of Missouri, she wrote on her Facebook page about the honor, saying she was thrilled and grateful to have been chosen.