In the journey of parenthood, witnessing your child achieve remarkable milestones stands as the pinnacle of pride and fulfillment.
Amid the current challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous celebratory events, including graduations, have been temporarily halted. This holds true for students who have dedicated the better part of their youth to reach these significant moments.
Meet Rachel, the daughter of Jay Handlin, who recently secured a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography & Media from the 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.— Jay Handlin (@jayhandlin) May 16, 2020
I am officially the proudest father on the planet.
Fight me. pic.twitter.com/t39gY58Gqf
Unfortunately, the pandemic prevented her from experiencing the traditional stage celebration.
Jay, however, decided to share Rachel’s exceptional accomplishment with the world. He took to Twitter to express his immense pride, stating, “I am officially the proudest father on the planet.” This tweet has resonated with over 220,000 likes and 19,000 retweets.
What makes Rachel’s achievement even more extraordinary is that she has Down syndrome, a challenge that could be perceived as an additional hurdle in her journey. But has that deterred or hindered her progress? Not in the slightest.
#Photographer. #Artist.#Collegian.— Jay Handlin (@jayhandlin) November 12, 2017
If none of those strike you as consistent w/ #Downsyndrome, maybe it’s time to open your mind.
(@CalArts BFA3 #RachelHandlin w/ “Rue Visconti” collage from exhibition “Jumping Off Le Pont Neuf.”) @RubysRainboworg @queenswash @BlueApplePlays pic.twitter.com/oUO4nyorCu
According to the Pediatric Therapy Network, only one in a million individuals with Down syndrome successfully completes a higher degree program. Rachel defies the odds, making her that one in a million, and Jay couldn’t be prouder.
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— Momentum Pediatric Therapy Network (@PTN4Kids) May 15, 2020
Rachel’s story is a testament to resilience and determination, an inspiration for us all. In celebrating her unique journey, Jay stands as a beacon of support and love, demonstrating the unwavering bond between a father and his daughter.
This heartwarming narrative of a devoted father championing his daughter’s extraordinary achievements serves as a reminder that the world could use more uplifting stories like this one!