Following a whirlwind two weeks for aspiring model, local girl Kate Grant, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Kim Ashton took time out of her busy schedule to personally meet with her to congratulate her on her success.
Cookstown schoolgirl Kate Grant, 19, who has Down's syndrome, hopes to break down barriers for disabled people by taking part in a unique beauty pageant next year.
Kate is one of 50 beauty queens chosen from hundreds of applicants from around the globe who will compete in the 2018 Ultimate Beauty of the World pageant next summer.
This is a dream come true for Kate who has always wanted to become a model. Her dreams became a reality two weeks ago when her mum’s appeal on Facebook went viral and resulted in Kate being booked for her first fashion shoot just two days later.
Lots of other modelling offers have followed but by far the biggest opportunity is the Ultimate Beauty of the World Competition. The international beauty pageant was launched three years ago and is open to all women regardless of age, size, height or marital status. The event final will be held in the Seagoe Hotel in Portadown over two days next summer.
Council Chair, Councillor Kim Ashton has praised Kate for following her dreams and never giving up on her career aspirations: “Kate is a truly remarkable girl and an inspiration to us all! She has taught us that we should never give up on our dreams and to follow our hearts regardless of how unrealistic those dreams seem at times. I am delighted Kate’s modelling ambitions are becoming a reality and going from strength to strength because she more than deserves it.
“Kate has helped to break down barriers and act as a symbol of hope for everyone. I have no doubt the future is definitely bright for Kate and we will be hearing big things about her in the future. I would like to wish her the best of luck in the Ultimate Beauty of the World Competition next summer and congratulate her, and her wonderful family, on everything she has achieved to date.”
Kate, a student at Sperrinview Special School in Dungannon, added: “It is my dream come true. To me people are beautiful not just on the outside but on the inside and everyone is special. I am really so excited about it. I will work hard and do whatever I need to do. I want to be a model and I have Down’s syndrome and I hope other people with Down’s syndrome will be encouraged just like me to follow their dreams.”