Mikayla recently competed in the 2017 Miss Minnesota pageant which is part of the Miss USA family of beauty comps. When she did, she became the first woman with Down syndrome to be a contestant in the Miss USA umbrella of pageants.
Mikayla didn’t win; however, she received the Spirit of Miss USA award and the Director’s Award.
She didn’t let walking away without the state title get her down, though.
“It’s really fun. As I do more pageants and I’m really proud of myself…this is my dream,” she said.
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Executive state director of the Miss Minnesota pageant, Denise Wallace Heitkamp, agrees with Mikayla that she should be proud of her accomplishments.
“You exude the spirit of Miss USA by always being true to yourself and putting others first,” Heitkamp said to Mikayla. “You have selflessness, humility, and the ability to overcome obstacles with a smile on your face and excitement in your heart.”
Not only did the judges love her, but the audience did too! Mikayla received a standing ovation every time she left the stage.
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For one woman in attendance, Mikayla’s milestone had special meaning. Lana Beaton brought her two-year-old daughter with Down all the way from North Dakota so she could see early on that her dreams are possible.
“I was overwhelmed,” Beaton said. “I was full of so much hope and joy and excitement for her and our future.”