GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - For the first time in more than 60 years, a teen with special needs was crowned "Miss Freshman" at Central Gwinnett High School.
Emily Creed, 15, has cerebral palsy and has had more than a dozen surgeries since birth, but she didn't let that stop her from competing for the title.
"It was fun to be with the other girls," said freshman Emily Creed.
Emily's mother, Melissa Creed, said her daughter was born prematurely at 29 weeks, and seeing her walk across that stage was something she never thought possible.
The teen said she was shocked when her name was called. "I thought I could never win, but I never stopped, I kept going," said Emily.
"She has always gone above and beyond what she sets out to do," said Melissa.
Seeing her daughter wearing the crown and sash was an emotional moment that meant so much more than the title itself.
"Other special needs girls need to have the opportunity, and they need to realize that just because they're special needs doesn't mean they can't do something," said Melissa Creed.
Now, Emily is hoping more girls like her will take the stage next year.
"You gotta believe in yourself because you can do this, you can really do this, you gotta never stop, gotta keep going," said Emily.
Now, Emily is already preparing to compete in her second pageant.