Posted: Jan 16, 2013 10:59 AM by MTN News
Updated: Jan 16, 2013 11:17 AM
GREAT FALLS - Miss Montana Alexis Wineman of Cut Bank has been extremely busy the last few days - namely, appearing in the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas on Saturday and being seen by millions of people across the world.
Although she didn't walk away with the crown, Alexis did win big by earning the "People's Choice" award via online voting.
Alexis visited MTN affiliate KRTV in Great Falls on her way back home to Cut Bank from Las Vegas on Tuesday, sharing some of the highlights of her journey and even providing a small sample of her pageant talent: stand-up comedy.
Wineman's platform issue, titled "Normal is Just a Dryer Setting: Living with Autism," focuses on her life since she was diagnosed with a form of it in 7th grade.
Alexis says that her mission as Miss Montana is to spread autism awareness because she says it's not autism that defines her, but rather, she defines it.
"I think by spreading the message that everyone's different, whether they're autistic or not, it not only spreads autism acceptance, but a universal acceptance," she said.
Her mother said that Alexis has been inundated with messages from all over the world since Saturday's pageant from well-wishers, and many are from parents of autistic children, others from autistic adults, full of praise for Alexis for highlighting the issue.
Watch the extended interview with Alexis above.