19-year-old girl with Down syndrome is crowned at international beauty pageant

December 23, 2018 Updated: April 9, 2019

A teenager in Northern Ireland who has Down syndrome had wanted to be a model since she was 13 but had never gotten the chance to, until her mom shared her story online. From then on, she modeled at fashion week and even won an international beauty pageant.

Meet Kate Grant, from Cookstown in Co Tyrone. She’s made a name for herself after her mom, Deirdre, asked people on Facebook to support Kate’s dream of becoming a model.

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Deirdre told Mirror Online that the 19-year-old had wanted to be a model since she was 13. So, Deirdre sent Kate’s photos to some agencies but was unsuccessful.

“I knew it was because she had Down’s syndrome,” Deirdre recalled. “Kate was so disappointed. The emails left her crushed.”

Deirdre then uploaded a photo of Kate wearing her prom dress to Facebook and asked if her daughter could be a model.

After Kate’s story was spread widely, it led to an invitation for Kate to walk the runway on Belfast Fashion Week and later the international beauty pageant, “Teen Ultimate Beauty Of The World.”

Posted by Deirdre Grant on Saturday, October 7, 2017

At the pageant, Kate and her family were shocked to hear her taking the first place and beating 40 other candidates from around the world.

“My dream has come true,” Kate said of her winning. “And that dream is to get a chance to inspire young people who have Down’s syndrome and other special needs to believe in themselves.”

I am voting for Cookstown… are you? #myhighstreet #gbhscookstown Vote by using the hashtags above! 🙌🏻💗🦋

Posted by Kate Grant Model on Tuesday, October 9, 2018

“Kate said it was her dream come true to enter the pageant,” Deirdre said. “Now she could help make dreams come true for other kids.”

“I want the next generation who have any special needs to know the true meaning of beauty is who you are, not what you look like,” Kate added.

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And as to how she was able to come so far, Kate has this to share:

“Do your own lives, do your own stuff,” she told ITV in February. “Just trust yourself and believe in yourself.”

After winning the pageant, Kate now gets to have photoshoots “throughout the year” and also “be a judge and mentor at next year’s final.”

BIG NEWS!!!I will be back on This Morning on Thursday!! Spread the word and make sure to tune in!!#Dreams #DownSyndromeModel #ITV #BackontheTelly

Posted by Kate Grant Model on Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Today, Kate is living her dream, a testimony to positive thinking and not giving up in the face of rejection and disappointment. As the saying goes, never say never. If you’ve got a good goal, stick with it. You never know, some day a turn of events may surprise you.

Watch the video below:

Down's syndrome model

Meet Kate Grant, the first model with Down's syndrome to take part in Belfast Fashion Week 💃…

Posted by BBC Newsline on Monday, October 30, 2017