A young woman with Down’s Syndrome has achieved her childhood dream of serving as a mail carrier after spending a day working for the United States Postal Service.
21-year-old Grace Flannery, of Cincinnati, Ohio, had long admired the work of mail carriers, but feared her disability would hold her back from pursuing this line of work herself.
However, Grace never gave up on her dream, which has now been granted thanks to the good people at The Westwood Post Office.
On Tuesday August 20, Grace donned a United States Postal Service uniform and joined mail carrier Melissa Tilton for a four hour shift. And she absolutely nailed it.
Speaking with WKRC prior to her shift, Grace said:
I’m gonna say my name and I’ll shake their hands and I’ll look them directly in the eye.
Melissa was only too happy to lend her wisdom to a young aspiring postal worker, telling WKRC:
I love my job to begin with. Then, when I find out someone else wants to do it, I’m like, yeah, let’s do this.
During their shared shift, Grace and Melissa sorted and bagged mail, which they then loaded onto a mail truck. They then headed out to deliver a variety of letters and packages.
With her keen attention to detail and positive attitude to work, Grace proved to be an absolute natural and Melissa was impressed by how she took to the work.
Speaking with Yahoo! Lifestyle, Melissa said:
Grace’s attention to detail was spot-on — she did a great job matching the addresses on the letters to the correct homes. We need more carriers with her focus.
Grace reportedly demonstrated confidence when meeting members of the public and – contrary to popular stereotypes about mail workers – even befriended a dog during her route.
Dedicated Grace already has mail bags full of experience in the postal field, having done a paper route while still at high school. She has also completed an internship at Children’s Hospital, which involved delivering packages to 32 departments throughout five separate buildings.
Grace is reportedly always looking to build on her existing experience, and is now hoping to find full-time employment as a postal worker, either with USPS or within a company’s mail room.
The abilities of people like Grace are all too often woefully underestimated, meaning many of those who want to work are left unemployed.
Grace’s ambitious nature just shows how rewarding work can be for those with Down’s Syndrome when they are given a chance to demonstrate their skills within a supportive and caring working environment.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.