Student with Down syndrome opens Vanderbilt acceptance letter in emotional video

Emerald Pellot
·1 min read

College acceptance videos are always emotional, but Michael Blackburn’s reaction is too incredible to not watch more than once.

Blackburn has Down syndrome and is a major Vanderbilt fan. In February, Blackburn’s family captured the moment he was accepted into his dream school and to say he was excited would be a major understatement. 

“Vanderbilt,” Blackburn said as he picked up a package in the Instagram video. “Can we open it?” 

After fussing with the package, he pulled out a black t-shirt that read “Next Steps at Vanderbilt.” 

“I got in,” he exclaimed. “Yeah! I got in!” 

Blackburn jumps up and down and then rips off his shirt to swap on his new collegiate gear.  

“Your desire to grow as an individual and to reach your dream of attending college was clear in your application,” the acceptance letter said

Blackburn was accepted into the university’s Next Steps program. It’s a four-year higher education program that provides students with developmental disabilities the opportunity to attend college. The student’s dream job is to become a doctor and help children with Down syndrome. 

“Dear Vanderbilt, thank so very much for whatever y’all done to let me get into [the] Next Step program at Vanderbilt,” he wrote in a follow-up post. “[It] is inspiring my heart.” 

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