Miss Minnesota, Rebecca Yeh, finished as fourth runner-up in the Miss America pageant.
The 2011 graduate of Brainerd High School is the daughter of Tim and Kathy Yeh, of Nisswa.
Yeh, 20, told the Brainerd Dispatch she decided to participate in local Miss America competitions because she wanted to spread her wings as a violinist, as well as support her older brother, who has autism, and build awareness about the condition.
"I want to be a role model for young women and this was a way for me to grow as a person and give back to the community in some way," Yeh said ahead of Sunday's competition.
In the days leading up to the main event, she said, she had to wake up and be ready by 5 a.m. before makeup for photo shoots for ABC's "20/20," ''Entertainment Tonight" and other TV programs. She would go to bed around midnight after rehearsals and public appearances.
Yeh's pageant journey began with winning the 2011 Miss Brainerd title. She was the runner-up for Miss Minnesota in 2012 and won it on her second try in June. She took a year off from Ohio Northern University, where she is majoring in pharmacy, to compete.
Yeh won a $2,000 scholarship in last week's talent competition. She has played the violin since she was 4.
"Rebecca's success as a violinist in pageant competitions was not merely because she was talented," Tim Yeh said. "She really had to sustain a consistent, long-term habit of practice and study with some demanding teachers, make many sacrifices and push herself harder than she knew."