First woman with Down syndrome competes in Miss U.S.A state pageant

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A BEAUTIFUL FIRST: Mikayla Holmgren didn't capture the crown, but did earn two awards on Sunday. (KTRK)

A 22-year-old woman from Minnesota is quickly earning the title of trailblazer after a state beauty pageant on Sunday.

Mikayla Holmgren is believed to be the first person with Down syndrome to compete in a Miss U.S.A state pageant.

Holmgren is a student at Bethel University in Saint Paul, where she's a triple-threat athlete.

She also serves as a mentor for other young women and has a passion for dancing.

While she didn't move on to the final round, Holmgren's talent and charisma didn't go unnoticed.

She won two awards Sunday night - Spirit of Miss U.S.A and the Director's Award.

"I'm really proud of my parents and I'm really proud of myself," Holmgren said.

The audience gave Holmgren a standing ovation, and Kalie Wright was chosen as the next Miss Minnesota U.S.A.

Beauty and brains: Federal scientist crowned Miss USA 2017
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Kara McCullough, a scientist working for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has been crowned Miss USA.

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