Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

“Proudest Father On The Planet” Shares Powerful Story Of Daughter’s Graduation.

Graduating from college is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication.

While the commencement ceremonies this year look pretty different because of COVID-19, nothing can take away the happiness and pride so many parents feel for their kids’ accomplishments. Jay Handlin is among them, and he wants to shout his daughter’s victory from the rooftops!


Rachel just earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and media from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. She also happens to have Down syndrome, and her dad wanted to introduce her to the world!

“This is my daughter, Rachel Handlin,” he wrote on Twitter. “Tonight, she earned her full Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. … I am officially the proudest father on the planet. Fight me.”


Even better, he shared a picture of Rachel’s exhibition, which she called “Jumping Off Le Pont Neuf.” The snapshots we can see are lovely and complex – and prove she’s well on her way to becoming a professional photographer. No wonder Jay is so proud of his girl!


The beautiful tweet quickly went viral and people started sharing just how much Rachel’s story means to them.


“In the global Down syndrome population, college degree recipients are one in a million,” said the Pediatric Therapy Network, where Rachel once received treatment. “We couldn’t be more proud of her!”

They aren’t the only ones! One of her professors chimed in to celebrate.


Now that her story is getting so much attention, even more parents are reaching out to share their experiences!


After all, no one could resist such a sweet opportunity to recognize their own loved ones’ extraordinary efforts!


Well done, everyone! We are celebrating with you and will be rooting for you as you pursue your dreams!

Share this story to wish Rachel and her proud dad all the best, and check out the Coronavirus Good News Dashboard for more joy and hope.

Share your story & inspire the world.
If you have an uplifting story we would love to hear about it! Share it with us here.

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.