This Woman Became The First Contestant With Down Syndrome To Compete In A Miss USA Pageant

Mikayla Holmgren didn’t know the type of impact her competing in pageants would have on girls just like herself. Mikayla has Down Syndrome and was the first person with Down Syndrome to compete in a Miss USA Pageant.


Not only did Mikayla compete but she also won two awards, the Spirit of Miss USA Award and the Director’s Award.

She shared on her Facebook page that she competed in the Minnesota Miss Amazing Junior Miss in 2015. The Minnesota Miss Amazing Pageant is for women with disabilities. After winning that competition she was invited to the Miss Minnesota Pageant.

According to BuzzFeed, she bugged her mom, Sandi Holgrem for days wanting to apply. When she got accepted into the competition that is when they realized how big of a deal this was. Miss Minnesota is part of the Miss USA and Miss Universe competition. She quickly went from a pageant for women with disabilities to a national pageant.–f1DIUY/?taken-by=mikholmgren_inspiring_others

Despite her Down Syndrome, Mikayla was always a performer. She has been dancing since she was six. She is also on Bethel University Dance Team where she goes to school.

When word got around that a girl with Down Syndrome would be competing girls who also have disabilities came to see her compete.

Mikayla wanted to show that having a disability shouldn’t hold anyone back. On Facebook, she wrote, “I want to be able to show others what inclusion is all about, that someone with special needs can go after their dreams.”

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