Jay Handlin is the proudest father on the planet.
Don’t agree with him?
Well, you’re going to have to fight him on that.
Jay has plenty to be proud of.
His daughter, Rachel Handlin, just graduated from college.
The prestigious California Institute of the Arts.
— Jay Handlin (@jayhandlin) August 12, 2017
Statistics tell us that Rachel’s achievement was nothing short of extraordinary.
This is because she has Down syndrome.
According to the Pediatric Therapy Network, only one person in a million with Down syndrome complete their degree in higher education.
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
“Rachel was PTN’s first Junior Ambassador and we couldn’t be more proud of her!” Pediatric Therapy Network wrote on their website.
Those stats are just some of the reasons why Jay was bragging so hard on Twitter. And who could blame him!
— Jay Handlin (@jayhandlin) November 2, 2017
“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. Rachel has Down syndrome. I am officially the proudest father on the planet. Fight me,” he Tweeted.
But statistics aside, Jay was just like any other dad touting his child’s accomplishments.
Dad’s always doted over how incredible his daughter’s photography work is.
He would Tweet about her accomplishments throughout her college career, including her photography exhibitions. Dad’s Tweets show that Rachel was also an inspiration to those around her.
Rachel was in my first lighting class I taught at calarts, im so happy to have been there to be a part of her journey at calarts. pic.twitter.com/ypFKGZdlpi
— Rafael Hernandez (@2071photo) May 17, 2020
“Rachel was in my first lighting-class I taught at Calarts, I’m so happy to have been there to be a part of her journey at Calarts,” Rafael Hernandez Tweeted.
Dad’s graduation brag Tweet ended up going viral and was retweeted more than 22,600 times.
“In the global Down syndrome population, college degree recipients are literally one in a million,” Jay told Pediatric Therapy Network.
“On May 15, Rachel Handlin will earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in photography and media from the prestigious California Institute of the Arts. First and foremost, she’s reaching that milestone because of her talents and abilities, her unique vision, and her endless hard work. But to get there, she needed support from an incredible team: parents, therapists, aides, teachers, tutors, friends.”
To all who said #CongratulationsRachel:
*Thx for asking to see #RachelHandlin's art! Her Instagram is handlinrachel.
*When her website launches I'll post about it.
*"Fight me"=a common, humorous Twitter expression meaning "I dare you to say I'm wrong." I don't wanna fight anyone. pic.twitter.com/EVlrOPBoRx
— Jay Handlin (@jayhandlin) May 24, 2020
Jay’s Twitter post has garnered loads of congratulations for Rachel.
“Congratulations, Rachel, and thank you for sharing this, Jay! What an inspiration and proof that our kids have SO MUCH to offer this world. So happy for you both,” one Twitter commenter wrote.
I have a 5 year old daughter with Down syndrome. This is so amazing to see! Thank you for pushing her to reach her full potential and for pushing those around her to realize what she is capable of! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/H7zkxWC3tD
— Kerry N (@kerry81480) May 18, 2020
It also provided a place for other parents of children with Down syndrome to celebrate their children and brag about their accomplishments and the “benefits from having an extra chromosome.”
“I have a 5-year-old daughter with Down syndrome. This is so amazing to see! Thank you for pushing her to reach her full potential and for pushing those around her to realize what she is capable of!” wrote one parent.
Join your friends or be the first to like our page
I feel you – featured: my brother winning his school board’s award of excellence for treating people with respect and dignity. Couldn’t ask for anything more than a kid with a kind heart and a great sense of humour. pic.twitter.com/n70LytCIVM
— Jasmine Attfield (@jattfield) May 17, 2020
“I feel you – featured: my brother winning his school board’s award of excellence for treating people with respect and dignity. Couldn’t ask for anything more than a kid with a kind heart and a great sense of humor,” said another.
Like any good dad, Jay was also promoting his daughter’s work and encouraged others to check it out.
“Rachel is a multi-modal artist who works in large-format film and digital photography, screenprinting and lithography, and ceramics,” her website says. “She is a keen observer of the world and its people, whose unique perspective reveals dimensions, beauties, and truths others may miss.
You can check out Rachels’s work at rachelhandlin.com.
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