Kristina Blum made history at Saturday’s Miss California USA pageant in Long Beach, Calif. The 22-year-old was the pageant’s first-ever legally blind contestant, and while she didn’t go home with the ultimate prize, she did walk away a winner.
Blum traded in her Eastern Sierra hometown sash for the title of Miss Congeniality, a prize awarded to her by fellow contestants. And based on the reaction of the contestants behind her in the above photo, she is a deserving winner.
Blum was also born with with the genetic condition of albinism. By entering the pageant, Blum “hopes to challenge others to be all they can be no matter what challenges they face,” Blum’s acting public relations person and significant other Micah Williams told the Inyo Register.
The winner of Miss California USA, Cassandra Kunze of Beverly Hills, will compete for the title of Miss USA 2014 later this year. The Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss Universe pageants are owned by Donald Trump and NBC Universal.