Getting into college is a momentous occasion for any student but for 20-year-old Kurt Kinley, it was a moment his family will never forget.
Kurt’s dream was realized when he was officially accepted to Heartland Community College. The inspiring video of his reaction was filmed by his family and has now gone viral with over 200,000 views.
It’s time for the big reveal.
The video shows Kurt opening up the admission letter and reading it carefully before realizing that he was indeed accepted into college. He raises his hands in celebration and is brought to tears. His family cheers him on in the video as he shouts, “I’m in! Yes!” after reading the admission letter.
Kurt’s acceptance letter was extra special for him and his family.
As a young person with Down Syndrome, college was never a guarantee for Kurt. However, he was determined to go after seeing his older brother Glenn and sister Kelsey go off to school.
Sure enough, Kurt was accepted into a 2-year program Heartland Academy for Learning Opportunities (HALO). The school accepts students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and other learning differences. At school, Kurt will be able to enroll in courses ranging from computers, math, money skills, and other aspects of independent living. – wglt.org
“He’s always wanted to be like his older brother and sister…They’ve been incredible role models.” – Kurt’s father Dave told wglt.org.
Kurt’s brother Glenn was the one who posted the now-viral video of his brother’s acceptance into college. He realizes that this is an extraordinary opportunity for Kurt.
“I always assumed I would go to college. My parents did, too…I don’t think Kurt ever assumed he would go to college, so it’s a pretty big deal for him. He was pretty fired up about it.” – Kurt’s brother Glenn told wglt.org.
Kurt is a fighter.
Despite having extensive medical issues when he was little, Kurt was adopted by the Kinleys. They quickly learned that there wasn’t much Kurt couldn’t accomplish.
“There were things where I’d say, ‘Kurt won’t do this’ or ‘Kurt won’t do that.’ And eventually, he would,” Our expectations for him have always been high, as far as behavior expectations and social expectations. And I think that’s helped him. He’s not allowed to go out and act like a goofball someplace because that’s what he feels like.” – Kurt’s mother Michele told wglt.org.
Kurt’s excitement turned into emotion as he was brought to tears after the news.
Kurt’s brother Glenn said that the assumption that Kurt couldn’t do certain things was thrown out the window a long time ago.
Kurt is a very talkative young man according to his family. The moment he found out about his college acceptance, he was speechless.
Got a call from my little brother recently. I could tell he was fighting back tears when I answered. “Glenn, I’m going to college.” He just found out he got accepted into a Community College program for students with special needs. Here’s the moment he found out. pic.twitter.com/X7Xn3evbWU
— Glenn Kinley (@glenn_kinley) July 3, 2021
“He has brought so much joy to our family, more than you could ever imagine,” Glenn said. “That video is just 1%, or less than that, of what he is every day.” – Glenn Kinley
The future is bright for Kurt Kinley and his college is lucky to have him.
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