1st Woman With Down Syndrome Competes In Miss Minnesota USA Pageant

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In 2015, she first competed in the Minnesota Miss Amazing pageant, a pageant created for women with special needs, and she won.

Mikayla Holmgren of Stillwater, Minnesota was one of 51 contestants who competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant on November 25.

The crowd erupted after Holmgren made her first introduction: "Mikayla Holmgren, 22, Marine on St. Croix!"

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

While Holmgren didn't take home the crown, she did earn two major awards and a standing ovation from the crowd. "I'm really proud of my parents and I'm really proud of myself", Holmgren said.

"I'm really good at them because it's my passion".

The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports the nomination letter for the spirit award says Holmgren is humble, puts others first and has the ability to overcome obstacles with a smile and excitement in her heart.

On Sunday, she competed at the Ames Center in Burnsville and won the Spirit of Miss USA Award and also the Director's Award. She said when she got an application in the mail for Miss Minnesota USA, she begged her mother to let her do it. I want to teach art to young children.

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.

She told People.com, "I said, 'I want to do this".

"I hope to continue dancing".

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