Woman With Down Syndrome Competes in Pageant

Mikayla Holmgren, 22. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Link Photography)

Mikayla Holmgren, 22, has earned the title of “trailblazer” after becoming the first person with Down syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota pageant this year.

Besides being beautiful, Mikayla is a determined young woman who has always loved being on stage and is an excellent dancer. Currently at student at Bethel University, she is an advocate for people with Down Syndrome and has spoken to both state House and Senate representatives regarding legislation for “trisomies.”

“I applied to the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant not knowing if I would be accepted. And, that is all I want…to be accepted,” she wrote on her GoFundMe page months ago.

When her dream came true, she quickly set up the page to help fund the entrance fee, gown, swimsuit, hair and makeup services she’d need to compete. When the pageant took place last  month, she was among the contestants at the pageant who competed in Burnsville, Minnesota for the title of Miss Minnesota.

Although she didn’t win, she was awarded the “Spirit of Miss USA” award at the conclusion of the pageant. The audience gave her a standing ovation when she accepted the award.

“It’s really fun. As I do more pageants and I’m really proud of myself … this is my dream,” Mikayla told KSTP.

This isn’t the first pageant for this young lady. She won the title of Minnesota Junior Miss Amazing in 2015.

Proud and confident, she enjoys the pageant life and plans to continue.

“She’s an ambassador. She’s going to be a leader and stands firm for others that maybe don’t know how to achieve things,” said Mikayla’s mother, Sandi Holmgren, to globalnews.ca.

But the best part about her story is the message she wants to send to anyone who will listen.

“I want the world to know that Down Syndrome does not define me. With your help, I can help break through walls.”

You go, girl!

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