Halima Aden, 19, became the first Somali American to participate in the Miss Minnesota USA competition, ABC 7 Chicago reports. She competed in the pageant over the weekend in a hijab and a burkini, a bathing suit covering everything but her feet, hands and face.
Aden was born in a Kenyan refugee camp and lived there until she was 6 years old.
According to ABC 7 Chicago, life in the U.S. has been tough for Aden as Islamophobia has continued to be a serious problem.
“The people that are doing bad things, they don’t represent an entire group,” Aden said. “I feel like I’m here to bust those misconceptions and stereotypes of Muslim women.”
Aden’s participation in the pageant was about much more than just a crown; it was also about the impact she will have on others.
Although she didn’t make the top five, she did make it into the top 15.
Read more at ABC 7 Chicago.