When his daughter Rachel graduated from college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Jay Handlin’s joy was so overwhelming that he couldn’t contain it.
Jay feels particularly pleased with Rachel, who has Down syndrome, even though this is a significant accomplishment for their parents.
The joyful father took to Twitter a week ago to tell the world that his daughter, who is 24 years old and has a degree in Photography and Media, had just completed her studies at college.
“My name is Rachel Handlin, and this is my daughter Rachel. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography and Media from the illustrious California Institute of the Arts, often known as @CalArts, this very evening.
Down syndrome is the medical term for what Rachel is dealing with. I am now the proudest dad on the entire planet. He challenged me to a fight.
Jay, age 61, said in an interview with Individuals that out of all the people in the world who have Down syndrome, approximately one in a million have graduated college.
“This is not because they are the only people capable of doing the task. He remarked, “They are the ones whose families would never agree to have the prospects of their children snatched away from them. They overcame the obstacles stacked against them, societal prejudices, low expectations, and institutions designed to work against them, and they were successful.”
When Rachel was a little child, Jay and Laura, his wife of 62 years, brought her on vacation to Paris with them, and while they were there, they took Rachel to several museums.
When they entered the Van Gogh exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay for the first time, Rachel was carried by Laura when her parents brought her there for the first time. At that precise moment, it seemed as if the kid’s body was “electrically charged.”
According to what he said, “she had a powerful, instantaneous, and positive bodily response to the work.”
Rachel obtained a Nikon Coolpix point-and-shoot digital camera for her birthday in the ninth grade. After that point, she began significantly improving her ability to create things.
She started preparing her portfolio for college by enrolling in photography courses during her senior year of high school.
Jay said that Rachel’s photographs stood out from the crowd because they were “striking” and “not the type of images people would shoot.”
After completing her high school education, Rachel was sure she wanted to enrol in an art college. In the end, she decided to attend CalArts, and she did so as the school’s very first student with Down syndrome.
For the last five years, Rachel and her mother have been living in a shared apartment. This has allowed Rachel to devote her whole attention to her artistic pursuits without the distractions that would come with living independently.
Rachel has also just concluded an independent study in ceramics at CalArts, and she has been merging the techniques of ceramics with photography to create impressive results.
She was also quite involved in extracurricular activities when she was attending college. She founded a club on campus called the View Camera Club specifically for students majoring in photography. She also handles the bar at art exhibits once a week.
Additionally, Rachel has participated in photography exhibits in the United States and foreign nations.
In fact, Scooter Shots, one of her most recent exhibits, is on display in a New York art gallery. Rachel claims that the photographs she took of the reflections in the side-view mirror of the scooter demonstrate that she can “see things that other people don’t notice.”
This college graduate is absolutely unstoppable since she already has plans to acquire a Master’s degree in Fine Arts.
Most of the responses to Jay’s tweet describing himself as a “proud dad” were expressions of congratulations. A few individuals also related anecdotes of family members affected by Down syndrome.
Jay and Laura have high hopes that others will have this reaction after hearing Rachel’s tale.
“We want everyone who has Down syndrome, has a kid, grandchild, friend, or acquaintance who has Down syndrome or has obtained a prenatal diagnosis to know what’s possible,” Jay said. “We want everyone with Down syndrome, a child, granddaughter, friend, or acquaintance who has Down syndrome.”
“to understand that individuals who have Down syndrome are fully formed humans who possess a diverse set of capabilities and untapped potential. They are hilarious, complicated, unexpected, intriguing, and useful. They are interesting, clever, creative, intelligent, and talented.”
Despite the challenges she had due to her Down syndrome, Rachel completed all of the requirements necessary to get her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. This did not prevent her from achieving her objectives.
This demonstrates that if a person is willing to put in the effort and is supported by those who have faith in them, they can do whatever they set their minds to.