Dream big without limits ~ I want the world to know that Down Syndrome does not define me. With your help, I can help break through walls~ Mikayla Holmgren
Mikayla Holmgren is made history by becoming the first woman with Down Syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant - which is also a first for the Miss USA pageant in any state. We celebrate her life to inspire others to dream big without limits. Because I Can had the fun opportunity to chat with Mikayla and her mother, Sandi, and are excited to share a little bit about Mikayla behind the scenes:
Tell me about yourself: "I am 22-years-old, live on a lake, had a couple of dogs named Cody and Gus, am a Vikings Fan, love to dance, do gymnastics, I volunteer at Special Olympics and other places, go to Bethel University, and play in golf tournaments." Mikayla choreographs many of her own dances. Watch her perform to Beautiful Me
How did you get involved in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant? "Information came in the mail and I wanted to be in a pageant! My mom did not read the fine print, I did, so she did not know it was the Miss USA pageant. Made me really happy and I wanted to do it. I love to be on stage. Been practicing interviewing, walking in high heels, and modeling."
Who is Best Buddies that you are representing for Minnesota and to whom you selected for your featured apparel online sales proceeds to be donated? "They mentor kids with disabilities, give hope, help you to believe in yourself. It’s like why not! I spoke and danced at a Best Buddies meeting at Indiana University in front of 2,500 people. I am excited to represent them and bring a chapter to Minnesota." Mikayla at a Best Buddies event
What are your goals after you complete your Education Certificate at Bethel? "I did receive a scholarship last year, called Ruby’s Rainbow, for school. Would like to live on my own. Maybe teach art. I am proud of a Burger and Apple that I painted. Also, like photography."
Mikayla chose Best Beddies for Proceeds to benefit during the run of her story. Vallye Adams, National Director of Expansion & Mission Advancement for Best Buddies International, shares the following: "Expansion efforts in Minnesota are strong and steadfast. Through our partnership with Mikayla and with the Miss Minnesota USA pageant's advocacy, our dreams of establishing a Best Buddies Office in Minnesota will happen and we will be able to continue to change the lives of thousands with disabilities."