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 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 online sales proceeds to benefit? "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."
Update to Mikayla's Involvement with Best Buddies:
July 2018 Mikayla has taken her involvement in the non-profit organization Best Buddies to a whole new level in the last few months. Best Buddies is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
As the organization works to expand in Minnesota and open a state office, Mikayla has stepped up to serve on the Expansion Board and as a Champion candidate in their upcoming Champion of the Year Gala this November. As a board member and Champion candidate, Mikayla is playing a key role in building the foundation for Best Buddies Minnesota; creating new opportunities for individuals with disabilities across the state. To learn more and to support Mikayla’s campaign, visit her platform here.