Mikayla Heilison

Five-year old Mikayla Heilison has proven her resilience at a very young age. The daughter of a soldier stationed at Fort Hood, she often endures long periods of time when her father is deployed, in field training or on temporary duty somewhere far from home.

But, the happy-go-lucky kid finds joy in all that she does—even losing. Heilison has competed in pageants for three years. Upon the family’s arrival to Fort Hood, Heilison’s mother entered her in the Krist Kindl Charity Pageant. Heilison ultimately won the title in 2017, rode on a float in the Copperas Cove Christmas Parade and was excited to be crowned queen.

Heilison entered the Miss Five Hills Scholarship Pageant in March 2018 but did not place in the court or capture the crown. Determined not to give up, she competed again in 2019 and received first runner-up in the Little Miss category. Heilison was thrilled with the medal she received and all of her prizes, even though she did not bring home the title, said her mother, Sarah Callison.

“She said she had fun,” Callison said. “Whether she wins or loses, she is always happy to have been up on stage. Even though we left knowing she did not win, we were already looking ahead to entering the pageant next year.”

But, as fate would have it, the contestant selected by the judges to reign as Little Miss Five Hills was unable to complete her year-long reign. In September, Heilison was offered the title since she was the first runner-up in the contest.

“When I was notified by (pageant director) that she would be able to take over the Little Miss Five Hills crown, I was thrilled for her,” Callison said. “I know that she loves the spotlight and she loves to help people when she can. Every time she has an event to go to for the pageant, she gets super excited.”

Since being crowned, Heilison has helped with numerous community events including the lupus walk, Howl-O-Ween Puppy Pawlooza, Lil’ Dawg and Lil’ Lady Dawg Homecoming Dance, 9-11 Remembrance Walk and more. She has accrued more than 50 hours of volunteer service since September and earned the bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award that she received in front of the Copperas Cove City Council in January. She is now working toward the silver award.

As a pre-K student, Heilison receives top academic performance reviews.

“Every time I have a parent teacher conference with her teachers, they have nothing but good things to say about her,” Callison said.

In her spare time, Heilison likes to sing and dance around her house. She loves playing with her dollhouse and her Barbies as well as watching princess movies on Disney+.

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