Photo Release -- UTSA Student Becomes the First Deaf Winner of Miss San Antonio Pageant

Newly-Crowned Deaf Emma Rudkin Takes Her Personal Fight and Passionate Platform, Aid the Silent, to the Miss Texas Pageant

SAN ANTONIO, March 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emma Rudkin will represent the Alamo City as Miss San Antonio when she competes for the Miss Texas title this July. When Rudkin was three years old, she had a serious illness and was later diagnosed as being profoundly deaf. Doctors said she would never hear or learn to speak clearly. Through hard work and determination she not only learned to speak, but she sings and plays three instruments. She also graduated from high school with honors and is currently enrolled in the Honors College at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

In an effort to help others who face similar challenges, Rudkin founded a nonprofit called, Aid the Silent, which supports resources for the deaf, as well as deaf education, scholarships and research. Rudkin plans to give voice to her foundation through her role as Miss San Antonio and throughout the Miss Texas competition.

"I want to empower people who've faced similar challenges like mine and help them transform their disability into an ability," say Rudkin. "It's what God has given me and I plan to handle it gracefully."

The Boerne native is already preparing for the Miss Texas pageant, which is an official preliminary to the national Miss America pageant. During the recent competition for Miss San Antonio, not only did Rudkin win the crown, but she was awarded Overall Best Interview, Overall Best Talent and Miss Congeniality.

Rudkin is currently a communications major at UTSA working towards her Masters of Science in Deaf Education and Hearing Science. She also has plans to attend a Christian seminary.

Aid the Silent is committed to advocating and supporting the deaf and hard of hearing community by combining under one umbrella a support system for: deaf ministry, deaf education, deaf research and deaf resources. Our goal is to be a source of support to help and assist economically disadvantage deaf or hard of hearing children/teens to reach their full God-given potential by providing monetary means for ministry-related activities and access to hearing and speech resources. We also aim to provide funding of research and educational programs that dedicate their services to support the deaf and hard of hearing communities. Aid the Silent mission is to show anyone with a disability, not just the deaf, that you can turn a disability into an ability.

The Miss America Organization: is one of the largest providers of scholarships to women in the world. Each year the organization offers millions in scholarships to its competitors. The Miss America Foundation strives to change lives and influence young women across the country and around the world.

Emma Rudkin

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