Graduating from college is a major milestone for many young people. But for Bohdan Kravchuk, from Ukraine, it is all the more so because he has Down syndrome, a genetic condition that causes delays in physical and intellectual development.
Bohdan Kravchuk, one of the thousands of students who recently graduated from universities across Ukraine, has earned his long-awaited bachelor’s degree in history on July 11, 2019, after overcoming his intellectual and developmental disability.
Even more incredible, the young man made history as he became the first college graduate with Down syndrome to earn a bachelor’s degree in Ukraine.
Сьогодні лучанин Богдан Кравчук отримав диплом бакалавра історії!!!Він перший в Україні хлопець з Синдромом Дауна, який…
According to the Kyiv Post, Kravchuk spent five years at Lesya Ukrainka East European National University in Lutsk, a city west of Kyiv, studying history.
Anatoliy Shvab, dean of the university’s history department, said Kravchuk was a distance-learning student, so the young man worked independently most of the time.
“Now I can say that he has learned material from the curriculum and his answers during the exam were informative enough to give him a high grade,” Shvab told the Kyiv Post.
Besides excelling academically, Kravchuk did a good job socializing with other students in the university as well.
“Students like Bohdan need a lot of individual work. At the same time, socialization and communication with peers are essential for them,” Shvab said. “That is why I think inclusive practices should be developed more in the modern system of education.”
Вперше в Україні 🇺🇦 студент із синдромом Дауна отримав вищу освіту: історія особливого Івана Кравчука – сюжет – відео ⏯ https://t.co/zZhbbRg1Kg 👈
— 5 канал 🇺🇦🇪🇺 (@5channel) July 16, 2019
In the opinion of Lesia Bondarchuk, an employee of Ukraine’s Institute of National Memory, Kravchuk was a conscientious student who hardly missed classes, she wrote in a Facebook post.
“Throughout these five years, Bohdan studied diligently and often was much more successful than ordinary students… Bohdan loves history so much that he could do otherwise and could not fail the high confidence in his capabilities,” wrote Bondarchuk.
Bondarchuk added his mom, Eugenia Kinakh, has played a major role in ensuring her son’s dream came true.
“I remember how we and his mother, Yevheniya Kinakh, fought for his right to higher education five years ago,” she shared.
Він, як і всі, хвилювався перед іспитами. Знайомтеся — Богдан Кравчук, перший в Україні дипломований історик із…
Taking Kravchuk’s example as a ray of hope to many parents of special-needs children, Bondarchuk shared the young man’s achievement on Facebook.
“Because from now on, they know that if you believe in your children and develop their opportunities, then dreams come true,” Bondarchuk wrote.
After graduating from college, Kravchuk revealed in an interview with Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:Pershyi that he’s looking forward “to find a job, work, have a family and provide for it and help my mom and dad.”
Due to the common misconceptions about Down syndrome that people with the condition are a burden, 67–85 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with the genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra chromosome are aborted in the United States, 90 percent in the United Kingdom, 98 percent in Denmark, and 100 percent in Iceland, according to statistics.
However, babies with Down syndrome deserve the chance to live and a future like ours too. If given the opportunity, individuals with Down syndrome can excel in school, go to college, get a job, live independently, contribute to society, and make a difference.
“A child born with Down syndrome today has brighter prospects than at any other point in history,” New Atlantis senior editor Caitrin Keiper wrote in an article.
Kravchuk is further proof that a person with an intellectual disability is able to achieve success and live their dream just like any of us! Without a shadow of a doubt, Kravchuk’s successful case will give parents of special-needs children hope for the future.
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