Minnesotan is breaking barriers in the pageant community

Mikayla Holmgren laughs during a portrait session
Mikayla Holmgren laughs during a portrait session after and appearance on MPR News with Tom Weber inside the Kling Public Media Center on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.
Evan Frost | MPR News
Mikayla Holmgren sits for a portrait
Mikayla Holmgren strikes a pose during a portrait shoot inside the Kling Public Media Center in St. Paul, Minn. on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.
Evan Frost | MPR News

Mikayla Holmgren is excited about graduating next spring with a degree in Arts Education. Her goal is to open a dance school and work with children.

"Dancing is my passion," she said.

Her schedule is full of appearances and interviews after she competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in November. She was the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in the pageant's history. Her favorite part was making "friends for a lifetime."

"Dream big without limits," Holmgren said.

The 22-year-old sat down with host Tom Weber and her mother, Sandi Holmgren, for an interview about her love of pageants and dance.

"Determination is a word that comes to mind every time I look at her," Sandi said.

Twenty-two years ago, Sandi couldn't imagine Mikayla gracing the stage of the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. Mikayla's birth was difficult and her diagnosis, scary, but she stepped into the role of advocate and inspiration with ease and in high heels.

To listen to their conversation use the audio player above.

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