Fourteen women from all over the state are in the Rose City, ready for one of the biggest moments of their lives -- Saturday's Miss Deaf Texas pageant.
Their message: being hearing impaired won't stop you from living your dreams.
"We're all the same. We're all learning together, about each other... learning each other's personalities, becoming better friends," says Miss Deaf Groesbeck Kassey Neason.
They are friends -- not just competitors. These women have battled much in their young lives, and overcome the odds. Now they're here.
Miss Deaf Houston Sylvia Benitez: "I came up here and I was really nervous, looking all around. But I've met a lot of new people."
They're from across the state, representing their communities, and their families. But being away from home, for just this short week, is a treat.
Miss Deaf Corpus Christi Katie Murch: "So far, I've enjoyed meeting new people and feeling special with everything that's going on. And the hotel is really nice."
A common bond unites these women. On stage with them Saturday night are the hopes and aspirations of millions of hearing impaired, and those little girls who will follow in their footsteps.
Katie: "I also want to be a role model for children in the future, and it's really good start for me. Are you nervous about the pageant at all? No."
When they leave Tyler, they'll have a taste of the spotlight, stories for their friends, and pen pals forever.
Kassey: "We always contact each other because we're friends together."