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."
2019 Mikayla Update: Here is what Miss Mikayla has been up to... Mikayla has been extremely busy the past two months. As Ambassador and Champion for Best Buddies, she also took on the role of co-emcee for the inaugural Gala along side Christina Palladino from Fox9. A total of over $135,000 was raised to help start a Best Buddies office in Minnesota. One week later, Mikayla was gracing the stage as a contestant for Miss Minnesota USA. This was her second year of doing this. She was so loved by her sister contestants that she won the Miss Congeniality Award. She didn’t have time to relax, as she had a job interview with a local preschool. All of her practice interviews for the pageant helped her to secure a job trial starting in January. She was able to relax with a two week vacation in Florida, where she helped organize dresses and accessories that will be donated to individuals with special needs attending the Tim Tebow Foundation “A Night To Shine”. This event is a prom with red carpet and crowns for all. The last evening of her vacation, she was invited as a guest to watch the Florida Everglades Hockey team. Afterwards, she was able to skate with the team and received the winning hockey puck. Mikayla continues to be a self advocate everywhere she goes and showing the world that she can achieve so much.