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A contestant with autism will make history in the Miss Florida pageant - CNN
Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Rachel Barcellona will make history as the first contestant with autism at the Miss Florida pageant. Later this month, Barcellona, 22, will make history as the first contestant with autism to take the stage of the Miss Florida pageant. A trainer on the autism spectrum wanted a place for people with autism to work out, so he opened a gym. The Tampa Bay resident credits her mother, a nurse practitioner, as a driving force in her young life. She has competed in pageants on and off since she was 5, and Barcellona told the stations she aspires for more.