ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY - A Brainerd area woman is in Atlantic City, New Jersey this week, competing in the Miss America Pageant.

Rebecca Yeh grew-up on Gull Lake, and graduated from Brainerd High School.

She's a former Miss Brainerd Lakes, and is the current Miss Minnesota.  She says she got involved in pageants three years ago as a way to showcase her ability to play the violin.  She was the first runner-up for Miss Minnesota last year, and this year she decided to give it one more try and won the title.

Last (Wednesday) night Yeh won the preliminary competition for talent, playing the violin.  Yeh says it was a nice surprise after struggling in practice.

Rebecca Yeh, Miss America Pageant

Yeh gets a $2,000 scholarship for winning the talent prelims. She says the experience has been life changing.

She's a student at Ohio Northern University, but she says she's taking this year off to focus on being Miss Minnesota - and possibly Miss America.

Each contestant must pick a platform to get involved in, Yeh's is autism awareness.

The contestans - one from each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands - arrived in Atlantic City on Tuesday, September 3rd.

The pageant began in Atlantic City in 1921, and is back there after a six-year run in Las Vegas.

The finals are Sunday night on ABC TV, starting at 8:00 p.m. our time.

Click on the audio player below to hear the full interview with Miss Minnesota Rebecca Yeh: