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Christy RybakChristy Rybak, a junior speech pathology major at Clarion University, is one of 38 contestants who will compete at the Miss Pennsylvania pageant June 11-14 in Pittsburgh. Rybak advanced to the state pageant after she won the title of Miss Steel Valley March 29. It was her first time competing.

Rybak, of Oil City, decided to enter the Miss Steel Valley pageant at the suggestion of her vocal coach, who thought it would provide performance experience and allow her to put her platform, autism awareness, in the public eye.

Through the pageant, which is part of the Miss America Organization, women compete for scholarships and campaign for their chosen platforms. As Miss Steel Valley, she will appear at events and fundraisers to spread awareness of autism.

Rybak largely attributes to Clarion her success in winning the Miss Steel Valley crown.

"The confidence, tools and knowledge I have learned from being a speech pathology major at Clarion University will continue to help me in my future achievements, and I am forever thankful," Rybak said.

Clarion University is the high-achieving, nationally recognized, comprehensive university that delivers a personal and challenging academic experience.

5/16/2014 12:46 PM

Clarion University junior wins Miss Steel Valley, advances to state pageant