22-Year-Old With Down Syndrome Becomes First in History to Compete in Miss USA State Pageant

Mikayla Holmgren has never let Down Syndrome get in the way of chasing after her ardours. In reality she’s used it to prove that she can do anything while paving the behavior for others with Down syndrome.

The 22 -year-old from Minnesota just made history by becoming the first female with Down syndrome to compete in a Miss USA state pageant.

Not simply did she vie and prove the judges what she was made of, she also brought home two awards–the Spirit of Miss USA Award and the Director’s Award.

Breaking obstacles is nothing new for Mikayla. She’s been dancing competitively since she was just six years old, and she spent the cold Minnesota winters inside a gymnastics gym. The pageantry queen is also a college freshman, and the distinguished ambassador for Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization that creates possibilities, fosters relationships and improves the lives of people with intellectual and developed disabilities.

“I want to be able to show others what inclusion is all about, that someone with special wants can go after their daydreams, ” Mikayla says.

Competing in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant is just the beginning of a lifetime of inclusiveness Mikayla hopes to achieve. She exudes confidence, beauty and boldness in her pursuit of following her daydreams and paving the way for others to do the same.

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