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Nisswa resident fourth runner-up at Miss America Pageant

Miss Minnesota Rebecca Yeh of Nisswa was named fourth runner-up at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., Sunday night, Sept. 15, winning a $10,000 scholarship.

Yeh, a 2011 Brainerd High School graduate, is the daughter of Tim and Kathy Yeh of Nisswa. She won a $2,000 scholarship last week as the preliminary talent winner for her violin performance. She has played violin since age 4.

Sunday night, Yeh was named a top 15 finalist from 53 contestants, and after the swimsuit competition was a top 12 finalist. She then made the top 10 and performed her talent on the violin. Yeh was then one of the top five contestants who answered impromptu questions before winning the fourth runner-up title.

Yeh, 20, first competed in a pageant two and a half years ago, when she was crowned Miss Brainerd Lakes in 2011. She was first runner-up in the Miss Minnesota Pageant before becoming Miss Northwest in July 2012 and then Miss Minnesota in June 2013.

She has two older brothers, Tim and Phil, and a younger sister, Sarah. Phil was the inspiration for Yeh’s personal platform advocating autism awareness, education and funding. Phil was diagnosed with a moderately severe form of autism at age 4, and Yeh’s platform is titled “A Voice for Phillip.”

She completed her first two years at Ohio Northern University where she was pursuing a pharmacy degree. She is taking a year off from school while serving as Miss Minnesota to promote her platform of autism awareness.

The Miss America Pageant is composed of a talent portion, an offstage interview, an onstage question, an evening gown portion and lifestyle and fitness (swimsuit) portion.