All parents are proud when their child finishes secondary school. But when his daughter with Down syndrome graduated from college, he was overjoyed. The photo he posted and shared of his daughters’ graduation went viral on Twitter, with hundreds of thousands of people joining his story.
Jay Handlin’s daughter Rachel has just graduated from college. She is one of millions of students around the world who have been unable to celebrate the finishing of secondary education because of the COVID 19 pandemic. But he must not be deterred from expressing his pride. Jay Handlin posted a photo full of love of his daughter Rachel on his Twitter account. “My daughter Rachel, who has Down syndrome, has just graduated from college. Tonight she received her complete Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and media from the prestigious California Institute of the Arts. I am the proudest father on the planet, officially”.
This is not the first time Jay has expressed how impressed and proud is of her daughter. He posted a photo of her work in 2017 when she was still a junior. Since then he has posted several updated photos from her exhibition, where she could show off her photographic skills. Here’s my Twitter feed from back then.
A Massive Accomplishment
No matter what you do, getting a college degree is a tremendous achievement. It represents countless hours of hard work and dedication over several years. Rachel had more to overcome than the average student.
Rachel and her parents worked with the Pediatric Therapy Network as adults, an organization that helps children with developmental disabilities reach their full potential. They worked to use the therapy in education and research programs. The world population of recipients of degrees with Down syndrome is more than one million.
Pediatric Therapy Network institute was proud of Rachel too and shared following tweet on their Twitter account: “Today, former PTN client Rachel Handlin received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Media from California Institute of Arts. We couldn’t be more proud of Rachel. She is a beautiful example of the support and love that is possible”. She is not only an inspiration to thousands of Down syndrome community members, but also her father is an example of how important parental support is to your child. Congratulations to Rachel and the rest of the Handlin family.