He’s the first but he won’t be the last:
Dylan Keuhl’s class has a lot to celebrate but one of those is marking a milestone event for their college. This graduation was not only a celebration of academic excellence but of inclusivity and diversity as well.
Down syndrome affects Kuehl:
And since he lives differently than most people, it’s regrettably all too frequent for him to hear that he can’t accomplish much.
But now he marches with pride while donning his toga and sash. Kuehl is the college’s 51-year history’s first-ever Down syndrome graduate. Kuehl thanked everyone who had helped him along the way in a speech that was recorded.
He expressed his gratitude to his parents for being there for him along the way and for being the ones who “gave him the tools” to achieve his goals. He revealed that many people had advised him that he wasn’t prepared for college. He was discouraged by the comments.
He is now creating a new story, too:
The Bachelor of Arts degree was awarded to the 38-year-old graduate “with an emphasis” on writing. His list of preferred subjects as a man of the arts included dancing and painting.
1 out of 900:
He was one of the three chosen students out of the almost 900 picked to give a speech. Kuehl remarked, “Wow, I never thought I would make it this far. “In the entire state of Washington,
I am the first individual with Down syndrome to earn a bachelor’s degree. I’m now embarking on a new journey. In the taped speech, images of Keuhl were also displayed. The images featured moments during his time at the university.
He also mentioned how he surrounded himself with positive people to help him get over the doubts and discouragement of others. This gang was dubbed his “Yes Team” by him.
He highlighted again how Evergreen State College changed his life:
Acceptance is the basis of Evergreen. In the video, he said. “Like me, a lot of other pupils may have a right to be included. We all benefit from the well-rounded community that diversity and inclusion create.
His graduation serves as both evidence of what individuals like Keuhl are capable of doing and a reminder that a community may empower each of its members by promoting inclusivity, respect, and hope among its members.
Kuehl undoubtedly disproved his critics:
Kuehl thinks that by sharing his success, he will encourage others to pursue their aspirations. “Make lemonade when life gives you lemons,” the saying goes.
When Kuehl discussed the ups and downs of events that brought him to where he is now, he reiterated the saying. While he expressed gratitude to those there, he also wanted to clarify something.
The degree he earned, he claimed, was the result of his own perseverance and hard work, despite the fact that he was surrounded by other students, teachers, tutors, and encouraging parents.
“Revel in your talents. “Live your life with desire and pride,” Kuehl advised. “Sure, I am the first student to graduate from this institution, but I won’t be the last.”