There's been quite a bit of college bashing in the news lately. With so many grads unable to find high-paying jobs or even paying jobs, it's easy to fall in line with the idea that costly higher education degree programs are a waste of money and time.

Try telling that to Rion Holcombe and his extremely supportive family. 

The 20-year-old, who has Down syndrome, got the news of his life recently when he received a college acceptance letter from a well-known and respected university. His proud mama filmed his reaction, which will warm your heart and, if you're feeling all down about college, make you think twice about its value. 

Rion was accepted into a program at Clemson University called LIFE, which honestly sounds amazing and like something all teens would benefit from -- special needs or not. LIFE gives students with special needs an opportunity to live independently (with supervision and supports in place) on the college's campus. Students enroll in courses like Functional Literature and Functional Mathematics while also learning how to manage their schedules, cook for themselves, and find internships and jobs. 

Rion is clearly over the moon about his new identity as a college student. It's inspiring to read about and witness a family that has pushed and encouraged him to strive for college. The special education movement has made such great strides since the early 1970s, when millions of students with disabilities still were not receiving an appropriate education that was suitably challenging and tailored to their needs.

The purpose of college isn't simply to provide a young adult with a job -- it's supposed to open up a host of intellectual ideas for young people and encourage them to become free-thinking, independent adults. I hope more universities begin to offer programs for young adults and teens with special needs.

Watch Rion's heartwarming reaction to this fantastic news:

What do you think of college programs offered for students with special needs?

 

Image via YouTube