Miss Michigan Contestant Makes History As First With Down Syndrome [Video]
Alyssa Patrias just competed in a Miss Michigan preliminary pageant and she accomplished something that had never been done before in the process. The 20-year-old has Down syndrome and she became the first woman in the state with it to compete in one of those pageants.
The only stipulation from the Miss America pageant - they oversee the Miss Michigan pageant - was that Patrias compete in each event and not receive any special treatment. The young lady didn’t take home the big crown as Miss Downriver, but she was a favorite with the crowd and the other contestants, who voted her Miss Congeniality.
Prior to competing in the Miss Downriver pageant, Alyssa had competed in an off shoot pageant called All Kids Matter.
“She may not be as poised or have the grace that the other girls have, but she went up there and gave it her all,” Alyssa’s mother, Sue Cameron, told the Detroit Free Press. “That’s all I can ask for. She was proof—it may not have been perfect—but she still did it.”
It wasn't easy, a meltdown early in the practice stages led Alyssa to become hyperfocused. Sue told WWJ Radio she began rehearsing her lines over and over again, “Hi, I’m Alyssa, I’m contestant No 4.”
The night of the show she nailed the lines perfectly.