Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser
BoredPanda Add Post

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

Woman With Down Syndrome Competes In A Miss USA State Pageant For The First Time In History And Her Smile Says It All
304points
User submission
89.8K
262.7K
People, Social Issues4 years ago

Woman With Down Syndrome Competes In A Miss USA State Pageant For The First Time In History And Her Smile Says It All

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

Those are the words of Mikayla Holmgren, a 22-year-old from Stillwater, Minnesota who’s just made history by becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to compete in a Miss USA state pageant. Not only that but she proudly returned with not one but two awards: the Spirit of Miss USA Award, and the Director’s Award! “I was super shocked, I was in tears,” she said. “I went from a special needs pageant to the biggest pageant in the world. It’s kind of crazy.”

Mikayla is no stranger to performing in front of crowds, having been dancing since the age of six, but the Miss USA state pageant was by far her biggest challenge yet. When she’s not stealing the show at beauty pageants, Mikayla is an ambassador for Best Buddies, a non-profit organization aimed at enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Mikayla is such an incredible and accomplished young woman,” said Denise Wallace, executive co-director of Miss Minnesota USA. “She is the epitome of what the Miss Universe Organization strives to look for in contestants.”

More info: Instagram

“I want to show others what inclusion is all about, that someone with special needs can go after their dreams”

Those are the words of Mikayla Holmgren, a 22-year-old from Stillwater, Minnesota

 She’s just made history by becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to compete in a Miss USA state pageant

She also came home with not one but two awards!

“I went from a special needs pageant to the biggest pageant in the world. It’s kind of crazy”

“I was super shocked, I was in tears”

Mikayla is no stranger to performing in front of crowds, having been dancing since the age of six

She’s also an ambassador for Best Buddies, an organization that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

“Mikayla is such an incredible young woman,” said the executive co-director of Miss Minnesota USA

“She is the epitome of what the Miss Universe Organization strives to look for in contestants”

Watch the video below for more info:

263Kviews

Share on Facebook
You May Like
Popular on Bored Panda
What do you think ?
SJ_Panda_love
Community Member
4 years ago

If you know someone who suffers from Down Syndrome, then you only know how difficult the life of that person is, that said, the intensity varies from person to person. I worked in a day care where they used to teach kids with down syndrome, believe me the people suffering from this disorder, are most nicest person on earth. They don't know feelings of hatred or jealousy, they have their moments of anger but nothing to be alarmed of. This girl just took my heart away, I cannot even imagine the amount of patience / hard work must be invested by parents/doctors of this girl to prepare her for this stage as usually OP are very shy. Go Girl! This world is a stage and now its all yours!

Rowan James
Community Member
4 years ago

Totally not patronizing at all, I'm glad you know people who SUFFER from this disorder and THANK you so much for educating me that no one with down syndrome feels hate or jealousy, ever. And yes her parents must be the real heroes cos they must invested so much time and care and love ... rather than just bring up there daughter. Thanks again 😁

Load More Replies...
Pamela
Community Member
4 years ago

You can tell she is such a beautiful person inside and out.

Juan Alcorta
Community Member
4 years ago

I don´t really get the point of beauty contests, and even worse, why competing in them. You might get a "she´s prettier than you " and you´ll have to deal with it. If you feel you´ve been discriminated or bullied because of beauty parameters, don’t compete for beauty. Perhaps you won´t get the crown, or perhaps you will, making other contestants feel less pretty. It´s bad anyhow you look at it.

7j6eqi
Community Member
4 years ago

You are using an accent as apostrophe, it looks really weird. :P But I agree with your statement.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
SJ_Panda_love
Community Member
4 years ago

If you know someone who suffers from Down Syndrome, then you only know how difficult the life of that person is, that said, the intensity varies from person to person. I worked in a day care where they used to teach kids with down syndrome, believe me the people suffering from this disorder, are most nicest person on earth. They don't know feelings of hatred or jealousy, they have their moments of anger but nothing to be alarmed of. This girl just took my heart away, I cannot even imagine the amount of patience / hard work must be invested by parents/doctors of this girl to prepare her for this stage as usually OP are very shy. Go Girl! This world is a stage and now its all yours!

Rowan James
Community Member
4 years ago

Totally not patronizing at all, I'm glad you know people who SUFFER from this disorder and THANK you so much for educating me that no one with down syndrome feels hate or jealousy, ever. And yes her parents must be the real heroes cos they must invested so much time and care and love ... rather than just bring up there daughter. Thanks again 😁

Load More Replies...
Pamela
Community Member
4 years ago

You can tell she is such a beautiful person inside and out.

Juan Alcorta
Community Member
4 years ago

I don´t really get the point of beauty contests, and even worse, why competing in them. You might get a "she´s prettier than you " and you´ll have to deal with it. If you feel you´ve been discriminated or bullied because of beauty parameters, don’t compete for beauty. Perhaps you won´t get the crown, or perhaps you will, making other contestants feel less pretty. It´s bad anyhow you look at it.

7j6eqi
Community Member
4 years ago

You are using an accent as apostrophe, it looks really weird. :P But I agree with your statement.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Popular on Bored Panda
Popular on Bored Panda
User Submissions
Also on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda