Teen Who Went Viral With Video of Acceptance Letter, Moves Into College

EAST STROUDSBURG — Across our region, thousands of students are moving into their home away from home for the college semester.

Rachel Grace, a student with Down syndrome whose acceptance video went viral, is moving into East Stroudsburg University.

The incoming freshman says although her parents are nervous about the move, she is very excited to start classes and meet new people.

Rachel Grace is a former basketball team manager and high school graduate. She is now an incoming freshman at East Stroudsburg University. This is first time living away from home and she says she’s excited and not nervous at all.

“Actually, [I’m] not really. My parents are but I’m not,” Rachel said.

Rachel’s mother recorded the video of grace being accepted, a video that went viral.

Her parents moved their son to college last year. Rachel is their only daughter, making it even harder for them to let go.

"It's exciting, nerve-wracking for us," said Rachel's mother Deb Grace. "[We're] excited for her, but really scared for us."

"You might have to do a follow-up story to see how I am. Rachel's doing a heck of a lot better than I am," said Rachel's father Tom Grace.

Rachel's parents are excited that their daughter gets the chance to go to college like any other student.

"When Rachel was born, we wanted her to have everything everybody else had and the college experience is so important," said Deb.

Rachel will be a part of the Career Independent Learning and Living Studies program at East Stroudsburg. Students take courses like independent living, maintaining a budget to prepare them for the real world.

The three-year program allows participants with intellectual disabilities to join clubs while being assisted by ESU students.

"What you see is that everybody benefits," said Terry Barry, College of Education Dean.  "Our students are learning in the classroom and they're working with CILLS participants, folks they will be working with throughout their career someday."

For Rachel and her classmates, classes start on Monday and she's very excited to hit the ground running.