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38-Year-Old Becomes the First Person With Down Syndrome to Graduate From His College

38-Year-Old Becomes the First Person With Down Syndrome to Graduate From His College

People told him that he cannot graduate but he achieved his goal with hard work and determination.

Dylan Kuehl, 38, of Olympia, Washington, had a simple goal to finish college. However, he has Down Syndrome and this road to graduation was filled with many difficulties, per Hrtwarming. However, with persistence and motivation, Kuehl worked harder than ever before and graduated from The Evergreen State College.

People told him he wasn't ready for college when he first started, which discouraged him. Rather than giving up, Kuehl built a yes team, he said in a graduation video released on June 9, 2022, who supported his goals and provided him with the tools to achieve them. He was one of just three individuals chosen from a pool of over 900 to make a graduation speech.
Hence, by earning his diploma, Kuehl has blazed the trail and won triumphs for inclusivity and diversity.

 



 

 

He is the first individual with Down Syndrome to graduate from The Evergreen State College in its 51-year history. Kuehl was quick to thank those who had assisted him along the road, complimenting family, friends, students, and staff members for motivating him to keep going. 

He said in his graduation speech, "I see the greatness in all of our graduates. I have to say. Wow. I never thought I would make it this far. When I first started, I had people tell me I wasn’t ready for college. It discouraged me. Instead of giving up, I built a ‘Yes Team.' " 

He also thanked his college, saying that Evergreen is focused on diversity and that many more students like himself have a right to be involved. Diversity and inclusion contribute to the development of a well-rounded community for all of them. 

 



 

 

Kuehl now aspires to inspire others to follow in his footsteps and dream bigger than ever before. He wants his intellectual and revolutionary achievements to open up new doors for other children, reports King 5.

The vice-president of the University. Dr. Dexter Gordon, said, "Evergreen’s focus on bringing learning to typically excluded communities is what I found so attractive when asked to help lead the college in this unique role as Executive Vice President." He added, "Watching Dylan Kuehl walk across the stage to get this bachelor’s degree as the first student with Down Syndrome in our state to achieve this amazing accomplishment gives insight into exactly how, with perseverance and a thirst to learn, everyone can find their way here at Evergreen." 

Kuehl said in his speech, "Celebrate your abilities. Live your life with ambition and pride. Yes, I am the very first person to graduate here, but I'm not going to be the last."

References:

https://www.hrtwarming.com/man-becomes-first-graduate-of-his-college-with-down-syndrome-and-writes-history/

https://www.king5.com/article/news/education/graduate-down-syndrome-history-olympia-college/281-bc58a8f3-fe59-461f-8d82-a67d7bacf6c0

http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2022/07/26/dr-dexter-gordon-reflects-on-first-year-as-the-evergreens-state-colleges-executive-vice-president/

Cover Image Source: Youtube/King5