Courageous Contestant

From 2013

Though she didn’t get beyond the the top 15, Alexis Wineman, Miss Montana, met a personal goal and set a national precedent by being the first Miss America contestant to have autism.

Even if you’re not an admirer of pageants, this represents a milestone in both self acceptance and national acceptance … she was chosen by online voters across the nation as the “People’s Choice” for Miss America 2013, propelling her into that final fifteen.

Her diagnosis of autism at age 11 gave her the self-understanding to begin overcoming her challenges with determination, including years of speech therapy.  She says that now “I am able to define my autism rather than it define me.”

Meet her in an interview with Fox News.