College Student With Down Syndrome Competes for Miss Minnesota
Mikayla Holmgren loves to be on stage.
A 22-year-old with Down syndrome graced the stage at the 2018 Miss Minnesota USA pageant, taking home two awards in the process.
The pageant was Mikayla Holmgren’s second, and she loved every moment of it.
“I love to be on the stage,” she said.
Holmgren, a college student, initially got the idea to participate in the pageant when she received a letter about it in the mail.
"She bugged me for three days that she wanted to do it and I kept pushing it off and then finally just to show her that I was applying for her, we went online and applied,” Holmgren’s mother, Sandi, told InsideEdition.com. “I specifically put in there that she had Down syndrome but thought they would push the application aside and they didn’t."
The 22-year-old participated in all three categories — interview, swimsuit and evening gown.
“Preparing is a lot of work,” her mother said.
Holmgren had a coach to help her prep in the six weeks leading up to the pageant.
“She had to learn how to walk in high heels, which is hard for any of us,” Sandi Holmgren said. “We practiced mock interviews and got used to getting interview questions.”
And Holmgren’s hard work paid off. She took home the Director’s Award and the Spirit of Miss USA Award.
“When they announced my name, I was in tears. I told my mom it’s very emotional. That came out of nowhere,” Holmgren said.
Sandi Holmgren hopes her daughter’s participation shows the importance of inclusion.
“It’s so important that our children are able to be included whether it’s in school or church or Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts. They just need to be included and accepted for who they are,” Sandi Holmgren said.
Trending on Inside Edition
Memphis Fire Dept. Terminates Paramedics Who Saw Tyre Nichols Writhing in Pain After Fatal Police BeatingCrime
North Carolina Woman Dives Into Freezing River With 'Turbulent Current' to Save Drowning Mini PoodleAnimals
Alec Baldwin Charged With 2 Counts of Involuntary Manslaughter in Fatal Shooting of Halyna HutchinsCrime
A Georgia Teen Is in the ICU After He Was Shot in the Head While Taking Out the TrashCrime
Boy Accidentally Ends Up in Another Country in Shipping Container During Game of Hide and SeekOffbeat
Benjamin Foster, Wanted for Kidnapping and Torture, Using Dating Apps to Hunt Victims, Police SayCrime