First woman with Down syndrome competes in Miss Minnesota USA pageant

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She won Minnesota Junior Miss Amazing, a pageant for girls and women with disabilities, in 2015.

So when she became the first woman with Down Syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota pageant Sunday night, they didn't think twice-especially given the competition's history of breaking barriers.

Not only was Holgrem overjoyed to simply compete, but she also went home with two awards: Spirit of Miss USA Award and the Director's Award.

"She's achieved more than I ever dreamed of", mother Sandi Holmgren said.

Holmgren is a student in the Bethel University Inclusive Learning and Development (BUILD) program.

Mikayla Holmgren, 22, of Stillwater, Minn., is believed to be the first person with Down syndrome to compete in a Miss USA state pageant, according to WFLA.

Since her first appearance in the beauty contest, 20-year-old Halima Aden, signed a modeling contract with IMG Models and appeared on the cover of Vogue in June.

"You make people smile every time you talk, cheer, smile and dance".

She told People.com, "I said, 'I want to do this. You have selflessness, humility and the ability to overcome obstacles with a smile on your face and excitement in your heart".

- Mikayla Holmgren's parents say she's always loved to perform.

She has a GoFundMe page set up to help defray some of the costs of competition. "She was inspired and said that if Mikayla could do this, then she could, too". "I went from a special needs pageant to the biggest pageant in the world". "I would also like [to] model or do dancing".

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