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Contestant makes history as first Miss Delaware Teen USA with Down syndrome

Kayla Kosmalski will go on to represent Delaware in the national Miss Teen USA pageant, scheduled for Aug. 1.
Miss Delaware Teen USA 2024 Kayla Kosmalski
Posted at 1:01 PM, Apr 30, 2024

History was made in Delaware Sunday night, as 17-year-old Kayla Kosmalski became the first contestant with Down syndrome to be crowned Miss Delaware Teen USA.

Kosmalski is a senior and varsity cheerleader at Middletown High School, located about 30 miles south of Wilmington. The Miss Delaware USA organization described her as capturing the hearts of many with her “radiant spirit and inspiring journey.”

This was the teen’s second time competing for the title. She was crowned Miss Delaware Teen USA 2024 at the Laird Performing Art Center at the Tatnall School alongside her sister titleholder, Miss Delaware USA 2024 Alysa Bainbridge.

The organization said Kosmalski is dedicated to advocacy and has lobbied for the rights and inclusion of individuals with disabilities. She and her family played a pivotal role in the passage of the ABLE Act in 2014, which allows states to create tax-advantaged savings programs for eligible people with disabilities. It was named the Kayla Act in her home state of Delaware.

“Her win not only marks a personal achievement but also serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for countless individuals worldwide, particularly those living with disabilities,” the Miss Delaware USA organization said in a statement. “Her aspiration to become the first Miss Delaware Teen USA with Down syndrome reflects her unwavering commitment to breaking down barriers and redefining standards of beauty and inclusivity in the pageant world and beyond.”

Kosmalski will go on to represent Delaware in the national Miss Teen USA pageant, scheduled for Aug. 1.