10:36 PM EDT 04/21/2014

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Miss America Pageant

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Miss America Asks School Not to Punish Boy Who Asked Her to Prom

Miss America Asks School Not to Punish Boy Who Asked Her to Prom

Originally posted 04/21/2014 08:40AM

Miss America is asking a Pennsylvania school district to reconsider the punishment of a senior who asked her to prom during the question-and-answer portion of an assembly.

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Credit: Kris Connor/Getty
Teen Suspended for Asking Miss America to Prom During School Talk

Teen Suspended for Asking Miss America to Prom During School Talk

Originally posted 04/19/2014 11:40AM

A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Miss America to the prom during a question-and-answer session at school.

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Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC/Getty
Djuan Trent, a Former Miss Kentucky, Comes Out as 'Queer'

Djuan Trent, a Former Miss Kentucky, Comes Out as 'Queer'

Originally posted 03/07/2014 07:40AM

Djuan Trent, who won the crown of Miss Kentucky in 2010 and finished in the top 10 of the Miss America competition in 2011, has made history by coming out as a lesbian – the first national pageant contestant to do so.

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Credit: Mel Evans/AP
Nina Davuluri Becomes First Miss America of Indian Heritage

Nina Davuluri Becomes First Miss America of Indian Heritage

Originally posted 09/16/2013 02:00AM

Moments after winning the 2014 Miss America crown, Nina Davuluri described how delighted she is that the nearly century-old pageant sees beauty and talent of all kinds.

The 24-year-old Miss New York is the first contestant of Indian heritage to become Miss America; her talent routine was a Bollywood fusion dance.

"I'm so happy this organization has embraced diversity," she said in a press conference after winning the crown in Atlantic City, N.J.'s Boardwalk Hall. "I'm thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America."

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Credit: Courtesy of Teresa Vail
Miss America Gets a Makeover: Meet the Contestant in Army Boots with Tattoos

Miss America's Sgt. Theresa Vail Is First Contestant to Expose Tattoos

Originally posted 09/10/2013 12:05PM

The Miss America Pageant won't know what hit it when it lays eyes on Miss Kansas, Sgt. Theresa Vail.

Once the competition's preliminaries begin in Atlantic City, N.J., on Tuesday, Sept. 10, Vail will be the second contestant in the military to compete (Miss Utah 2007 was a combat medic in the Army National Guard).

But when she struts down Boardwalk Hall in her bikini, she'll be breaking a long-standing taboo with her two giant tattoos – the insignia for the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder and the Serenity Prayer running down her right side.

"Why am I choosing to bear my tattoos?" Vail says. "My whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers. What a hypocrite I would be if I covered my ink. How can I tell other women to be fearless and true to themselves if I can't do the same? I am who I am, tattoos and all."

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Credit: CraigSjodin/ABC
5 Things to Know About Miss America Mallory Hytes Hagan

Miss America Mallory Hytes Hagan: Five Things to Know

Originally posted 01/13/2013 04:00PM

The new Miss America is an Alabama-bred blonde beauty who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and loves '80s pop music. But Mallory Hytes Hagan is more than just a pretty face who tap-danced her way into the judges' hearts on Saturday.

Here are five things to know about the new Miss America:

1. Modern Day Rags to Riches?
At 18, Hagan moved to New York with only $1,000 in her pocket. "I just didn't know that $1,000 wasn't enough money," she told PEOPLE. "I look back at my parents now for letting me do it and I think, 'Are you crazy?' " I genuinely think they thought I'd be there for three weeks and move back. I hit the ground running and had three job offers in first day."

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Credit: CraigSjodin/ABC
Miss New York Wins Miss America

Miss New York Mallory Hytes Hagan Wins Miss America

Originally posted 01/12/2013 11:45PM

The crown is headed to the Big Apple!

Brooklyn, N.Y., resident Mallory Hytes Hagan was crowned Miss America in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Miss New York, 23, beat out Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers, who placed second, and Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton, who finished third. Miss Wyoming Lexie Madden and Miss Iowa Mariah Cary rounded out the top five.

Miss Montana Alexis Wineman, who has autism, was one of 16 semifinalists.

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Credit: Marcel Thomas/Filmmagic
Autistic Contestant Vies for Miss America Crown

Miss America Contestant Alexis Wineman Talks About Growing Up with Autism

Originally posted 01/12/2013 03:00PM

Seven years ago, a bubbly and emotional Montana girl received news that her brain functioned differently than others: She was diagnosed with autism. On Saturday, that same girl could be crowed the new Miss America.

Alexis Wineman, 18, is the youngest of the 53 women vying for the title of Miss America in Las Vegas on Saturday. But Wineman hasn't always lived a life of glamour, having been diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified) at 11 years old. According to the Autism Speaks website, someone with PDD-NOS "has some but not all characteristics of autism or ... has relatively mild symptoms."

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Credit: Brad Lovell Photography
Miss America Contestant, 24, to Undergo Preventative Double Mastectomy

Miss America Contestant, 24, to Undergo Preventative Double Mastectomy

Originally posted 11/16/2012 07:30AM

Allyn Rose is more than just another pretty face.

The Miss America contestant, who will represent Washington, D.C., in the Jan. 12 pageant live on ABC, lost her mom to breast cancer at age 16. Now, at only 24 years old, Rose has decided she will undergo a double mastectomy as a preventative measure after learning she is a carrier of the same rare chromosomal disease that her mother had.

"The idea that I could wake up one day and not have the same body that I did the day before is very scary," Rose, a self-proclaimed former tomboy, tells PEOPLE. "But I also realize my mom was diagnosed at 27. That's three years away from me. I'm not going to let my fear of losing this part of my femininity stop me from living."

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Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty
5 Things You Need to Know About the New Miss America

Miss Wisconsin Laura Kaeppeler: Five Things to Know

Originally posted 01/15/2012 04:40PM

When Laura Kaeppeler was crowned Miss America on Saturday, she was already known as a stunning brunette who could belt out opera and didn't think Miss America should declare a political party.

Shortly after being crowned, the new Miss America chatted with PEOPLE, saying there's a lot more to the small town Wisconsin girl who plans to pursue a law degree.

Here are five things to know about Kaeppeler.

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