Photo by Kara Lee
Why did we pick Reyna?
We picked Reyna for her immense efforts to improve the Fargo-Moorhead area using her platform. She grew her platform through her work with Miss North Dakota and Miss America.
It wasn’t until Reyna’s fourth effort competing for Miss North Dakota that she was crowned the prestigious title in 2021.
After winning, Reyna was on her way to Connecticut to compete in the 100 Year anniversary of Miss America. Over the next nine days and nights, Reyna’s time was filled with orientations, interviews, rehearsals and much more!
She described her time competing for Miss America as “an experience that I will never forget and I am proud to have played my part in adding to a century’s worth of phenomenal women who have and will continue to positively change the world”.
Today, she’s continuing to support her initiative, “The Influencer Era: Impact Beyond the Screen,” which highlights the dire situation of screen time in today’s tech-heavy culture.
Furthermore, she’s continuing to champion shopping locally and supporting other businesses in the Fargo-Moorhead community. Continue reading to learn which businesses she advocates for and more!
Did you know?
The Miss America Organization is the leading provider of scholarships to women in the United States!
Reyna has been a part of The Miss America Organization for over seven years, holding titles including Miss Badlands, Miss HollyDazzle and Miss State Capitol.
Photo Courtesy of Tessie Jones Schwanke
Reyna gives back to the community through consistent volunteering and giving support to the community’s arts scene. Read further to learn more!
Photo Courtesy of John Geyerman
After graduating with a communication degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Reyna is now a Senior Marketing Specialist for Sanford Health, continuing to impact those in the local community!
Photo Courtesy of Lindsay Kay Photography
Reyna’s Places to Go
Photo Courtesy of Liz Courtney Photography
“Bergstrom Aesthetics is a medical spa that was started by my dad in 2018. For years, my dad— who is an ophthalmologist with his own clinic—has had a fascination with skincare prevention and decided that he wanted to integrate this interest into his eye clinic. A few words from my dad:
“I have always had a strong interest in functional and cosmetic treatments of the eye area. I love the artistic component of cosmetic surgeries and treatments. I was the first North Dakota medical doctor to provide Botox treatments for both functional problems as well as cosmetic treatments back in 1995. I was one of the original founders of Rejuv Medspa twenty years ago and the Medical Director at Hair Success for fifteen years. In 2018, space became available in my office to open my own medical spa and it’s been wonderful to provide these services to our patients directly in our office.” – Dr. Lance Bergstrom
“My dad’s entrepreneurial spirit has inspired me in my own pursuit of opportunities while having a spirit of curiosity, courage, and collaboration.”
Bergstrom Aesthetics doesn’t stop with their Oxygeneo Superfacial, they also offer Opus Plasma treatments, derma filler, botox & dysport, chemical peels, spectrum laser treatments and microlasering.
“During my year as Miss North Dakota, I started getting eyelash extensions to save me time while getting ready for the many appearances where I needed to look ‘photo ready.’ Although these lashes are both a financial and time investment, they cut the time of my morning makeup routine in half. Not to mention, I always looked forward to my monthly appointment with Tanya at BBB; she always took great care of me and made me feel beautiful not only on the outside but on the inside, too.”
One of the most unique services offered at Blushed Beauty is their medical tattooing, “A corrective and restorative procedure using custom blended pigments to camouflage an area of skin including scalp micropigmentation.” They also offer eyebrow microblading, eyeliner microblading, lip blushing and areola & nipple tattooing.
Photo Courtesy of Reyna Bergstrom
“One of my favorite Fargo winter outings is to go cross-country skiing at Edgewood. For $15, you can rent a pair of skis at the chalet and explore the trail system that is maintained by Fargo Parks.
Although the Edgewood Ski Chalet is the only place to offer rentals, there are eight other trails to enjoy in Fargo alone. Head to fargoparks.com/cross-country-ski-trials for more information.
“While having a gym that you enjoy isn’t essential for improving your physical fitness, it certainly makes it easier to turn that goal into a reality! I began going to Family Wellness when it first opened its doors over a decade ago, and I’ve always loved the gym for its natural light, variety of class offerings at multiple hours throughout the day, and the people who are now friends.”
Did you know?
While your YMCA Fercho and YMCA Schlossman passes won’t grant you full-time membership to Family Wellness, you do get 12 passes per year to the facility.
5. Ninja Ramen Poke Bowl
“This locally owned restaurant is currently one of my husband and I’s go-to dinner spots. Healthy, delicious, quick and the service is always excellent! I typically will order edamame for an appetizer and then Build My Own Bowl with a base of white rice, mixed greens and salmon for the main protein. A few of my favorite toppings include avocado, mango, seaweed salad, furikake and yum yum sauce. The Dragon Bowl is also delicious!”
Did you know?
Poke is a traditional Hawaiian food!
Photo Courtesy of Reyna Bergstrom
5 health Hacks: Tips to Minimize Screen Time
“Especially in the cold months, it’s easy to get lost in our screens; however, it’s important to balance our time with real-life activities. During my year as Miss North Dakota, I spoke on the importance of prioritizing in-person connection and shared these tips for decreasing screen time!”
1. Face down to Face Forward
“Hide your phone so it’s not visible, look up! A 2012 study from the University of Essex demonstrated that merely having a cell phone visible in the room—even if no one checked it—made people less likely to develop a sense of intimacy and empathetic understanding during meaningful conversations. Initiate face-to-face conversation! Work towards choosing people over the device.”
2. Limit Social Media Usage — Practical Tips
“Set a time limit on apps (or, for your device in general!) and keep yourself accountable. When the timer goes off, engage in another activity and commit to not getting sucked into your device. Turn off the notifications so you’re not tempted to click into the app every time there’s a new number hovering above the icon. Move your social apps to the last screen on your phone so it’s not as convenient to click into the apps when you’re on your phone.”
3. Black & White
“Turn your display to black & white under Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Color Filters. Believe it or not, even color is addictive!”
4. 30 – Minute Rule
“For the first thirty minutes and final thirty minutes of your day, make it a goal to not be on your phone or any device. Instead, try doing something that will quiet and center your mind and soul. Journaling, meditating, praying or reading a devotional are all great practices!”
Did you know?
While Blue light, the type of light found in our most common devices, can disrupt our circadian rhythm, Red light is the color that least affects your sleep cycle.
Photo Courtesy of Reyna Bergstorm
7 Tips for Winning A Fargo Winter
“Being someone who strives to stay active and loves being outdoors as much as possible (when the weather permits), I’ve experienced my fair share of wrestling through Fargo’s long frigid winters. Yes, living much of my life in one of the coldest climates in the world, I’ve come to view these winter months as a time to embrace my introverted creative side; however, aside from having time for personal projects, I realize that there continues to be a lot happening throughout the FM community to become involved with—if we so choose to brave venturing out into the cold to show up!”
1. Creative Projects
“Watercolor painting, scrapbooking, making movies, writing poetry, composing or playing music… tap into your creative side instead of scrolling TikTok (or, use TikTok to first get inspired in researching an idea)!”
2. Cooking New Cuisines
“Something I’ve been challenging myself with lately is stepping outside of my comfort zone in cooking new cuisines. Greek, Indian and Peruvian cuisines are a few that I currently have on my radar!”
Reyna has been getting into cooking Greek Indian and Peruvian cuisines lately. If you want to tantalize your taste buds, check out these options below!
For Greek specialty foods try shopping at Somali Halal Food Market which carries a ton of Mediterranean ingredients.
For Indian recipes try Himalayan Grocery, Namaste Grocery or Lotus Blossom.
Don’t feel like cooking? (Sorry Reyna) You can find some great Greek food at GP’s Greek Kitchen, Ishtar, Tati’s Mediterranean Saveur, New Gyro and Café Aladdin.
Currently in the local area are:
Himalayan Yak, Passage to India, India Palace Super Casual Restaurant, India Street Food Fargo (located inside Fargo Fresh Groceries) and Momo’s N More.
EXPERT TIP: At Himalayan Yak, you can order in Mild, Medium, Hot and Extra Hot, but you can also order in 2x Extra Hot, 4x Extra Hot, etc. all the way up to 20x Extra Hot!!!
3. Plan Something
“A weekend getaway to Detroit Lakes, staycation, brunch or hosting a party… in the middle of winter, I think it’s important to have something fun to look forward to in getting us through the darkness. Take initiative and make something happen!”
If you are looking for a spot, the newly renovated Hotel Donaldson might be the perfect option with its location in the heart of downtown Fargo.
“There are countless opportunities to get involved with local businesses, nonprofits and organizations throughout the FM community. Just because a business doesn’t outwardly advertise an opportunity doesn’t mean that they aren’t open to welcoming volunteers. If you’re looking to give your time, try connecting with your church, local shelters, schools, food pantries or any organization that you feel drawn to. There are volunteer opportunities everywhere if you choose to seek them.
While still a student at Concordia, I spent my college summers working at a bible camp in western Montana called Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. It was during those summers that I fell in love with both the great outdoors and student ministry. After graduating, I knew that I wanted to continue working with students because I saw the impact that having a positive role model with a supportive community had on their lives. Since 2018, I’ve spent my Wednesday evenings at Hope Lutheran Church mentoring and hanging out with their youth. I currently lead a high school small group (as part of their High School Ministry program) who in turn challenge and encourage me in my own faith journey. It is both humbling and inspiring to walk alongside these students who are so refreshingly honest, spirited and authentically themselves. In addition to volunteering at Hope, I sing in FM Choral Artists, an auditioned 78-member community choir, that feeds my love and passion for music.
Thirdly, I look forward to continuing my involvement in the Miss America Organization as a lifetime volunteer in various capacities. The Miss North Dakota Organization, which is the state chapter of MAO, is regularly looking for volunteers to help with local competitions, recruitment, fundraising and more to name a few. I’m excited to continue giving back to the organization that has tremendously impacted my professional development and growth as a young woman.”
5. The Arts
“The arts are vibrant and alive throughout our community! The FM Symphony, Fargo-Moorhead Opera Company, FMChoral Artists, Plains Art Museum, NDSU, Concordia, MSUM, M State and local high school performances… there are productions and events happening weekly that you can attend. Or, if you want to become involved more directly and audition or volunteer, that’s an option too! Check out the Arts Partnership’s event calendar to see more.”
6. Letter Writing
“It saddens me to think that the art of writing letters could be dying. I have friends who have told me that they just don’t know what to write; well, you won’t know until you put the pen down onto the paper! It could be as simple as a postcard. Find your favorite landscape photos from the past year and turn them into postcards and write an inspirational quote or a few words of encouragement.
It’s no secret that writing a letter is not convenient. Of all the forms of communication, sitting down with a pen and paper, finding an envelope, purchasing a stamp and then proceeding to bring that parcel of paper to the nearest post office (or mailbox) is not exactly the pinnacle of easy communication. But, perhaps that’s not the point and is in fact the true beauty of doing it: because it takes time, it feels intentional. It’s because of the effort it takes that makes letter writing feels more impactful and meaningful. And let’s be honest, when we receive a letter in the mail from a friend, does it not brighten your day? In the past, I’ve received letters that have not only brightened my day, but made my entire week and have reminded me of the power of being intentional.
Since I was a little girl, I’ve loved writing letters. And to be honest, I wholeheartedly believe it has sustained some of my long distance relationships, especially before social media was a part of everyday life. However, even now in the digital age that we live in, I continue to hold the perspective that letter writing can have the potential to nurture, sustain and solidify relationships— regardless of distance and time. I recently had a friend who returned from living abroad for four months and during that time, she and her boyfriend only communicated through letters. Although they could have easily called one another, because they only communicated via letters each letter received was that much more sweet and full of anticipation. Upon her arrival back in the states, he asked her to marry him to which she wholeheartedly said yes!
In my own letters, I like to reflect on my life and then ask questions of the person to whom I’m writing. I might even draw a little doodle or include a recent favorite quote. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just intentional. And I promise, whoever you’re sending that letter to won’t forget it—because there is power in pausing to use words that feel intentional. “
“I have a random list of roughly twenty books that I’m slowly trying to get through, but the top of the list includes:
- “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah
- “Spare” by Prince Harry
- “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman
I’m also a fan of “coffee table books” that include big vibrant photos and tales that inspire me, so, currently, on my living room table I have “Gastro Obscura | A Food Adventurer’s Guide” and “The Hidden Tracks | Wanderlust off the Beaten Path” which have both been fun and fascinating to page through with a cup of coffee in hand on my slow Saturday mornings.”
Did you know?
Passage to India was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in 2021!
1. Passage to India
“I recently had lunch with a friend at Passage to India and my goodness, while dining in I was reminded of the deliciousness of Indian food. My order included garlic naan, Tikka Masala and a Mango Lassi, and they all absolutely hit the spot!
A few of my other favorite local eats include ordering the Nordic Lamb sandwich from Bernbaum’s and the Yellow Curry (with chicken) from Sirirath Thai House. I think the reason why I especially love these restaurants and dishes is because they’re meals that I have yet to be able to replicate at home! The service is also exceptional.”
2. Lole Lilly Bag
The best everything bag! I use this as my gym bag but it can be used for so much more.”
3. Fujifilm Instax Square SQI
“For when you want to intentionally document happy moments while being away from your screen!”
4. Nichole’s Cafe
“I struggle to list just one. I love Nichole’s Cafe; every time I dine in, I order one of their loose-leaf teas steamed with milk and pretend that I’m actually in France at an artisan bakery. I’m also a big fan of Thunder Coffee (for their big south-facing windows, kindness, and delicious and unique seasonal specials. Red River Coffee Company, Steep Me a Cup of Tea, and The Grove Coffee and Wine also make my Top 5 Best F-M Meet-Up Spots.”
Adam Grant (@adamgrant)
“I first heard Adam Grant on the Armchair Expert Podcast a few years ago and have followed him online ever since. An organizational psychologist, professor and podcast host, his daily Instagram posts offer truth bombs of wisdom.”
Nicole Renard (@nicole_thenomad)
“A former Miss Washington, we first met in 2014 through a program called Distinguished Young Women and I’ve kept up with her ever since. Nicole became TikTok famous because of her incredible smoothie bowl recipes, but she shares so much more beyond food and explores topics pertaining to travel, faith and living a fuller life on her Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. “
Bohemian Blu Studio
“Locally made Scandinavian-inspired artisan jewelry! This husband and wife team is as creative as they are kind. You can find their collections at the Red River Market in the summer and fall.”
Did you know?
Most of the pieces created and sold through Bohemian Blu Studio are one-of-a-kind.
Bobbi Brown Face Base
“A bit of a splurge, I recently found this vitamin-enriched skin primer at Ulta and I love it!”
Sunbetter Sunscreen Compact
“I’m a firm believer that preserving the youthfulness of skin comes from diligently applying sunscreen and wearing hats. I love this specific face sunscreen because it can act as a primer and I’m also able to reapply it over my makeup without getting oily. It’s available for purchase at Bergstrom Aesthetics.“
“The Ride of a Lifetime” by Bob Iger (CEO of Disney)
“This is a leadership book, but the lessons shared by Iger can ripple into any area of life, including health and wellness. As someone who is fascinated by media, communication and storytelling, I found it inspiring to read Iger’s perspective on leading a multi-billion dollar creative company through a time of exponential technological change.”
On Purpose with Jay Shetty
“My sister, Rikka, introduced me to this podcast just a few months ago. My favorite podcasts to listen to are interviews, and this podcast highlights the stories and perspectives of some of the most brilliant minds in the world. This #1 Health podcast is hosted by Jay Shetty, a former Monk, and his mission is to make wisdom go viral.”
Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher
“Business, marketing, health and wellness…Minnesota native Jenna Kutcher covers it all.”
“I use this anytime I’m looking for a new hike. It gives easy-to-navigate maps, reviews, photos and current weather/trail conditions! During my year as Miss North Dakota, I spent a considerable amount of time in the western part of the state, specifically around the Williston region. Conveniently, Williston is located just an hour’s drive from the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, so I made it a priority during my year to stop and explore (weather permitting) on my way to Williams County. A few of my favorite hikes that I discovered included Sperati Point via Achenbach Trail and Prairie Dog Town via Buckhorn Trail. Another trail system in North Dakota that I’d like to explore is the Maah Daah Hey Trail, which encompasses over 144 miles of breathtaking terrain: majestic plateaus, jagged peaks and valleys, large expanses of rolling prairie, and intertwining rivers that offer pure, unadulterated wilderness. On the All Trails app, I currently have the Bennett-Maah Daah Hey-Cottonwood Loop saved to my Future Hikes list.”
“My husband Collin and I love to stop at the Painted Canyon of Theodore Roosevelt National Park for a short hike every time we road trip west, weather permitting.”
“BeReal is a social media app that asks users to post unfiltered photos of themselves once a day. It’s meant to encourage people to be more authentic, instead of trying to present their best selves. It’s not just another social media. I use it as a daily journal of my life!”
What are health, wellness and beauty to you?
In some form or another, I think all of us want to feel beautiful and crave validation for being so; however, that kind of fulfillment can’t last forever. All too often, we forget that beauty is a subjective construct and that the opinions of those around us do not ultimately hold value over our worth and perception of self-beauty; what matters is that each of us are loved and we deserve to be reminded of that fact daily.
I believe that the formula for true beauty, and ultimately optimal health and wellness, is actually quite simple: genuinely and confidently love others (along with yourself!) and you’ll be amazed at the result. When you care for others along with yourself, people take notice not only because it’s externally attractive but because it’s refreshingly pure. And when we care for ourselves, we simultaneously begin to feel connected to and realigned with our truest selves—which I believe are all key characteristics of optimal mental health and wellness.
“I think that this is a great way of looking at health and beauty!”
-Grant Ayers, Editor
What are your next steps with your social impact initiative, “The Influencer Era: Impact Beyond the Screen”?
My “why” behind wanting to be Miss North Dakota was always my desire to be a positive role model, especially for young people. Over the course of this past year, I’ve spread the message to students across North Dakota about the importance of relationships and how our true impact happens beyond the screen. Face-to-face interactions are crucial because bonds are strengthened when reinforced by the physical. Things like looking another person in the eyes, giving them a hug or simply nodding and smiling while you listen emphasize the fact that you are there for them.
While encouraging young people to get off of their devices, I’ve had conversations with them about the importance of healthy social media usage and reminded them that it’s each of our responsibilities to choose how we use technology proactively. After my year as Miss North Dakota wrapped in June 2022, my speaking engagements took to the back burner (as I planned a wedding and began a new job); however, although I may no longer be Miss North Dakota, I hope to continue speaking and scaling my message to encompass mental health initiatives throughout North Dakota and beyond.
“Now this is a mission that I can get behind!”
-Grant Ayers, Editor
How has competing in Miss North Dakota impacted/ benefited your initiative, as well as your other ventures?
I didn’t win the first time I competed for Miss North Dakota, nor the second or even the third. It wasn’t until my fourth time competing and final year of eligibility that I finally won the crown. And even then, although I knew I had a good chance, I didn’t expect to win. Frankly, I don’t think any of us should necessarily expect anything in life but instead, we should approach everything we do with humble confidence, a willingness to work hard (if we intend to be competitive) and a spirit of respect for others—of their perspectives, opinions and goals.
My pursuit of becoming Miss North Dakota was years in the making. Throughout the process, I learned the importance of perseverance, resilience and leaning on my community. Although it might sound cliche, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the friends and family who helped me throughout my journey. Becoming Miss North Dakota was undoubtedly a springboard for opportunities and relationships, including gaining a new family member—my soon-to-be sister-in-law who was my Miss Oregon!
Reyna at Maplewood State Park with her dog, Ole!
Photo Courtesy of Reyna Bergstrom
How to Support Reyna
Support Reyna across social media platforms to see her latest updates, as well as what Fargo continues to do for her!
What do you love about the local community?
I absolutely love this city. Having grown up in Fargo-Moorhead and spent the majority of my young adult years here, it’s been inspiring to watch this community evolve and transform into a Midwest cultural hub with strong Scandinavian roots. I remember when I graduated from Oak Grove Lutheran High School in 2014, I was so excited to leave and live elsewhere. However, the more I travel and see the world, the more I realize how grateful I am to be from Fargo and to call this city my home.
From hearing entrepreneurs speak weekly at StartUpBREW to seeing farmers and makers share their products and creations at the Red River Market, these are just a few of the events that display how this city’s identity is strong and our desire for connection is growing. Fargo-Moorhead is an incubator for creative minds and collective imagining, and I am so proud to be from North Dakota, specifically Fargo—a community that breathes such life and connection.
What is your primary venture/focus for 2023?
In 2022, I got engaged to the love of my life, passed on the Miss North Dakota title, started a new job on the marketing team at Sanford Health, planned a destination wedding and became the wife of my best friend in the entire world. It was a year full of many big (and small!) impactful moments in various spheres of my life with lots of change and consequently not a lot of routine. In 2023, I’m looking forward to finding my stride—specifically by prioritizing both my physical and mental health by being active, making time for creative projects and investing in lifegiving relationships. Perhaps these goals may sound somewhat cliché and typical, but I wholeheartedly believe that when we take care of ourselves, we are able to more fully show up for and serve those around us. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from a half-empty glass, right? Throughout the coming year, I’m choosing to prioritize a regular fitness routine along with investing time into creative projects; I’m hoping to make more art (specifically, watercolor and acrylic painting), contribute my writing to publications, and perhaps my biggest project, I want to dive more intentionally into my photography and transition it from being purely a hobby to a business pursuit. I have earned over $20,000 in cash scholarships from competing in Miss North Dakota and I intend to use those dollars for business, marketing and photography education. Finally, and in my opinion, the most important goal, I’m choosing to pursue life-giving relationships. I’m blessed with many incredible people in my life, and I want to make sure that these individuals feel seen, heard and valued. My husband, Collin, is a third-year medical student at the University of North Dakota, so I want to do my best to support and encourage him however I can (and plan fun trips when his schedule permits). I want to invest time into connecting with my group of high school students that I mentor at Hope Lutheran Church, my wonderful team of coworkers and my family. As I alluded to earlier, my brother is getting married this summer to the gal who was my Miss Oregon (yes, they met because of Miss America), so it will be fun to support them throughout these months of engagement and then, of course, their marriage. Ultimately, I’m a believer that it’s our relationships in this life that are the most important thing. So, I hope to love bigger, deeper and fuller and make these relationships and goals a true priority in my life.