Miss America 2013: The Inspirational Stories

A look behind the scenes of popular beauty pageant.
2:51 | 01/12/13

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Transcript for Miss America 2013: The Inspirational Stories
The countdown is on to the crowning of miss america, here on abc. So many of you tweetinme after meeting miss montana, the "person of the week" here last night. Tonight, the other young women overcoming the odds, too. We took you backstage in las vegas, to meet alexis wineman, miss montana, with all of the others as they compete for the crown. But her journey unlike any other, h family telling us the stories of the little girl unable to relate to the little girls at school, the hours spent alone, she had autism but they didn't know it. The teacher who once said i don't get paid enough to handle this. But 11 years old, finally answer. A diagnosis. No one thought she would make it here. I'm david. Good to meet you. At 18, alexis has defied the odds. The first contestant with autism to compete in miss america. She came with a message for other children with special needs. What do you say to other young people who feel alone? I wish they would embrace themselves for who they are. Reporter: And when she didn't have any friends growing up, i heard you had one best friend? Oh, yes. In the fourth grade, I had a giant winnie the pooh doll. Reporter: Winnie the pooh, still loyal today. There are so many young women here who have defied the odds from small-town america. From ohio, miss fallen timbers. Miss wyoming financing her own journey. On this day, she's getting ready for a fund-raiser. We also learned that, after tonight's pageant, miss district of columbia will go home for a preventive double mastectomy. A rare and brave move to prevent the breast cancer that killed her mother when she was 16. She told our lara spencer that they shared the gene. This is my mom. She's beautiful. ? Her mom will be in spirit. Miss montana will be in the back of theater, too. She won. She was here. Sorry. You never thought that this would even be possible? Absolutely not. This is beyond anything we ever thought. I do thinkut the kids. I hope they're watching. And pooh bear is watching. Pooh bear is watching. I know. Good luck. Thank you so much. Thank you. Tonight, right here, pageant confidential, the road to miss america, followed by miss america. Starting at 8:00 p.M. Eastern. I'll see you tomorrow night.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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