Many businesses have been promoting workplace inclusion by hiring people with various conditions and disabilities. When Jake Pratt, a 21-year-old with Down syndrome, landed a job at UPS, he couldn’t have been happier. He felt grateful to them for giving him a chance. Also, he hoped this would inspire others with Down syndrome to go after their dreams. Jake doesn’t let his diagnosis stop or define him; instead, he continually breaks barriers and encourages others to do the same.
When Jake told his family he’d gotten the job, his sister Amy Hyde immediately shared the news on social media.
She said, “Thank you, UPS, for giving my brother a chance & promoting inclusion in the workforce. Jake has Down Syndrome, but that doesn’t stop him! He loves his new job running packages up to 8 hours per day. That’s after working 6-10 am every morning at the golf course. I’m so proud of him!”
Jake has always been a hard worker and does everything with a smile on his face. He realized that no matter the obstacles you face, your attitude in life matters most. He works as a maintenance man at a golf course each day and then immediately heads to his second job with UPS. His sister says he loves both jobs and would gladly take on even more hours if he could!
In an interview with People, Amy said that working at UPS means so much to her brother. He had always dreamt of being independent, and this job will allow him to do that. So far in life, he has accomplished so much, thanks to his willpower and all the people who looked past his disability. Amy credits the many people who gave him a chance to help Jake follow his dreams.
Jake has always run full speed ahead toward his goals.
His sister added that Jake deserves a normal life as much as anyone else, and he wants that for himself. All of his accomplishments so far prove his capabilities, and he continually pushes boundaries. He wants to show others with Down Syndrome that they don’t have to let their diagnosis hold them back. Jake enjoys raising awareness about how those with the disability can still live a fulfilling, normal life.
Jake got the diagnosis during his childhood growing up in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. His family said it came as a shock to them, especially when the doctor said he’d never function normally in society. The doctor informed them that Jake wouldn’t live a normal life and may even need to be institutionalized. However, neither Jake nor his family accepted that grim, limiting outlook.
Amy said that her family never made Jake feel different from anyone else, wanting him to go after whatever he set his mind to. They always encouraged him to believe in himself and not to place limits on what he can accomplish. Because of his upbringing, Jake constantly breaks the mold and pushes himself in every area of life. Throughout his life, he’s surprised everyone with his achievements, doing things most considered impossible.
As a huge sports fan, he decided to join his high school football team and even scored a touchdown once. He also graduated college at Clemson University, enrolling in their LIFE program last spring. Also, he passed his driver’s exam with flying colors, scoring a 100 on the test. Landing the job at UPS was another milestone for Jake, and his whole family is so proud of him.
Since Jake’s new job went viral I’ve received several messages from customers on Richard & Jake’s route complimenting their excellent service, and even got sent a photo. My heart could just explode. 😊💙💛 #UPS #DownSyndromeAwareness #InclusionMatters pic.twitter.com/HLecQ7jXFe
— Amy Hyde (@Amy_Lissa) December 4, 2020
His sister says that Jake inspires her more than anyone else in her life. She says her brother never encounters a stranger, treating everyone with love and respect. He brings so much joy to all those who cross his path, and Amy says he’s taught her more than anyone she knows. She describes him as funny, hardworking, loving, and confident.
UPS promoting workplace inclusion and diversity gives Jake hope for the future
When Jake got hired, UPS celebrated with him, as well as his own family.
“We are proud to have Jake on our team! Keep up the great work, Jake!” the delivery service company said in a tweet.
While Jake doesn’t drive a truck, he still works a normal eight-hour day delivering packages to customers’ doors. All the while, he keeps a positive attitude and a smile on his face. Even after getting up early for his other job at the golf course, he feels grateful and ready for the delivery job.
Jake loves taking on new responsibilities and becoming more independent each day. He makes lunch for himself before he heads to work every morning and even lays his clothes out the night before. He values routine, so he heads to bed early each night to wake up refreshed and ready for work. We could all learn a thing or two from him!
He has proven people wrong time after time, constantly smashing his goals and creating new ones. Jake doesn’t settle for anything less than what he wants, and that determined spirit will take him far. His family can’t wait to see what his future holds for him.
Amy says that with Jake’s passion for sports, he dreams of being involved with a team or maintaining their facilities. In addition to that, he’s saving money from each paycheck to buy an engagement ring for his girlfriend Grace. She also has Down Syndrome and currently attends Auburn University in its EAGLES program. As she gets closer to graduating, Jake plans to propose to her!
Our buddies Jake Pratt and Grace Davis have spent some time together over Christmas break.@thejakepratt wants us to know how much Grace means to him!
Jake’s message here: 👇https://t.co/IR13ZgWlQY
— Rick Karle WVTM 13 (@RickKarle) December 29, 2020
His sister says that she fully believes in Jake and his potential to accomplish his goals. He’s come a long way, and she and her family can’t wait to see his bright future unfold for him.
When Jake got hired at UPS, it showed the world what inclusion and diversity truly mean. Many companies nowadays are committing to hiring people with various conditions and disabilities. This is the way of the future, and Jake’s story is one of many that inspire people to push past self-created limits.