22-year-old Mikayla Holmgren made history as the first person with Down Syndrome to compete in a Miss USA state pageant.
The Minnesota native's achievement served as an inspiration to others who live with the condition. The young lady has always had a passion for pageants and she continued to work for her dreams. She did not let the health condition keep her from going after her goal. Speaking to a news station, Mikayla said:
I'm really proud of myself, this is my dream.
Not only did Mikayla break barriers with her achievement, she also took home the Spirit of Miss USA Award and the Director's Award.
Mikayla is not only interested in beauty pageants, she has a passion for dancing as well. She has been dancing since she was 6-years-old and taking part in the Miss USA beauty pageant was also another way for her to hone those skills and expand her horizons. To her, it was all about showing the world what it meant to treat people with special needs better. Speaking to Project: Just Like You, a nonprofit organization, Mikayla said;
I want to be able to show others what inclusion is all about, that someone with special needs can go after their dreams.
Apart from finding ways to pursue her passions, Mikayla is also helping others who have disabilities. She is the spokesperson for Best Buddies, a nonprofit organisation that helps to create opportunities and enhance the quality of life of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The beautiful Mikayla is showing the world that the only thing that can hold a person back is a lack of belief. She's breaking grounds to let everyone know that being different does not make you ugly and that you can still have dreams even though you're disabled. Her message is one of inspiration and hope. We're quite proud of all she has achieved.