Camila Villafañe

By Camila Villafañe

LifeBuzz Staff

Woman With Down Syndrome Is 1st To Compete In Miss USA State Pageant.

If there's one thing that people with Down Syndrome have proven over the years, it's that they're just as capable of doing the same things everybody else does. Just ask Jamie Brewer, an actress who has appeared on "American Horror Story" and on "Glee." Then there's Madeline Stuart, the Australian model who appeared in New York Fashion week twice. So, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that a young woman with Down Syndrome has become the first person with this disability to become a contestant in the Miss USA state pageant, and she's such a standout too!

Meet 22-year-old Mikayla Holmgren, who recently appeared as a contestant in Miss Minnesota.

Mikayla is a very beautiful young woman. Fortunately, she had someone getting her hair all ready to go, so she looked her best and was ready to compete. You can easily see star quality in those eyes!

You could say that Mikayla has a bit of competitiveness in her heart, which has helped her excel.

She's practiced ballet in her off time, which helped her to tackle other challenges like becoming a dancer and a gymnast. Competing has been incredible for her, claims her parents Sandi and Craig Holmgren, who are really proud of her.

For Mikayla, it's not necessarily about winning as much as it about participating in these pageants.

She claims that they're really fun, and the more pageants she does, the prouder she is of herself because this is her dream. In fact, she competed in the Miss Minnesota Junior Miss Amazing in 2015, and took home a crown.

The competition's executive director, Denise Wallace Heitkamp, is pretty impressed with Mikayla too.

She claims that you only need to really spend five minutes with her to know that she's the perfect candidate to represent her community. Having other people with Down syndrome see Mikayla following her dreams will serve as an inspiration.

The Holmgrens have never allowed their daughter's condition to lower their expectations of her.

"She goes after what she wants," says Sandi. So, when Mikayla sets her mind on something, they're behind her all the way, which undoubtedly gives her that boost of confidence she needs to get ahead.

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