Choctaw Student With Down Syndrome Chosen For 'Be Beautiful, Be Yourself' Global Pageant
A Choctaw high school student is representing the state of Oklahoma in a big way.
Courtney Gaines, 16, is the first person from Oklahoma to take part in a pageant for those with Down syndrome.
Excitement is building head of the event, scheduled for November 3.
“They are beautiful regardless of their abilities,” said Deanna Gaines, Courtney’s mother. “They love the accolades, just being on stage and being acknowledged as being the beautiful human beings that they are.”
The pageant is a fundraiser for “Global Down Syndrome,” which brings out A-list celebrities.
Auditioning earlier this year, the Gaines family got the news in June.
“There are people participating as far away as overseas,” said Gaines. “The United Kingdom, I believe I seen one from India, so it is truly global.”
Students, friends and family couldn't be more excited.
Only a student in high school, Courtney plans to continue her work as an advocate for African Americans and girls with special needs through "Girl Trek,” and continue to put Oklahoma on the map.
“There is nothing that she can't accomplish if she puts her mind to it,” said Gaines. “Even if it has to be modified in some way, it is still within her realm.”
Gaines is a single mother and is looking for some help paying for the trip to Denver. Click here if you would like to donate.