The 11th annual Exceptional Pageant of 2023, with the inspiring theme 'Shine On,' provided a remarkable platform for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to fully immerse themselves in the world of pageantry. This extraordinary event allowed these remarkable contestants to showcase their unique talents, fostering self-confidence and self-esteem.
Held on the radiant evening of Saturday, October 14th, the pageant was a celebration of exceptional individuals, graced by an enthusiastic audience composed of their loved ones and friends who came out in full support.
The driving force behind this heartwarming event is none other than the former Ms. Long Island, Nikki Silva. She was joined by Joshua Baker, a proud resident of Brentwood and a fellow neurodivergent contestant, who exemplified what it means to 'shine on.'
Joshua participated in various segments of the competition, including an interview section, a talent showcase, and the formal wear presentation, where he was elegantly escorted by the reigning Ms. Teen Long Island.
In the talent section, Joshua captivated the audience with his rendition of Shaggy's "Girl You're My Angel," earning him the title of "Most Musical" and leaving everyone in awe.
In a heartwarming and well-deserved moment, Joshua was then crowned Mr. Exceptional Teen Long Island for 2023, marking a monumental achievement and a testament to his remarkable journey.