For most parents, there’s no greater sense of achievement, no higher feeling of pride, than seeing your children accomplishing great things in life.
With that in mind, the current COVID-19 pandemic has forced all manner of celebrations to be put on ice for the time being. That includes graduations, which many students have spent the better part of their young lives building towards.
Jay Handlin’s daughter Rachel is one such student, having recently earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography & Media from California Institute of the Arts.
This is my daughter, Rachel Handlin. Tonight, she earned her full Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography & Media from the prestigious California Institute of the Arts, @CalArts. Rachel has #Downsyndrome.
I am officially the proudest father on the planet.
Fight me. pic.twitter.com/t39gY58Gqf
— Jay Handlin (@jayhandlin) May 16, 2020
Jay rightly wanted to shout Rachel’s triumph from the rooftops, especially since coronavirus has robbed her of the chance to go up on stage in front of her piers, as she usually would have.
In true Father of the Year style, however, Jay decided he wanted the world to know just how special his little girl is, and all the hard work she’s put in to get to where she’s at.
— Jay Handlin (@jayhandlin) August 12, 2017
To commemorate her achievement, the proud father took to Twitter to post a thread. “I am officially the proudest father on the planet,” he wrote. The tweet has since garnered over 220,000 likes and 19,000 retweets.
— Jay Handlin (@jayhandlin) November 2, 2017
You see, Rachel’s not just any ordinary student. She has Down syndrome, which some could perceive as an added challenge on top of her other battles. Has that stopped her or held her back?
Not in the slightest.
If none of those strike you as consistent w/ #Downsyndrome, maybe it’s time to open your mind.
— Jay Handlin (@jayhandlin) November 12, 2017
As per the Pediatric Therapy Network, only one in a million people with Down syndrome will succesfully complete a higher degree program.
Rachel is that one in a million, and Jay couldn’t be any prouder of her if he tried. And rightly so!
In the global Down syndrome population, college degree recipients are one in a million. Today, former PTN client Rachel Handlin will earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in photography and media from the California Institute of the Arts! We couldn’t be more proud of her! pic.twitter.com/fd0WjdbKx1
— Pediatric Therapy Network (@PTN4Kids) May 15, 2020
Jay, we’re immensely proud of Rachel too! Every baby born unto the world is a unique gift, and people like Rachel are an inspiration for us all.
What a fantastic story of a loving father championing his daughter. The world needs more news like this!
Share this article to send your congratulations to Rachel for graduating, and to all the students who passed that milestone this year.