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Growing up, handwritten letters were a big part of my life. My grandma and I, my aunt and I, we wrote old fashioned correspondence when I was a kid, mailing letters back and forth across the country. After every Christmas and birthday, my mom made sure that my sister and I sent handwritten thank you notes for the gifts we had received.

And my dad taught me the value of sending a handwritten thank you after a job interview.

It’s kind of a lost art, you just don’t see it that often these days, which might be why one particular handwritten letter went viral earlier this year.

Ryan Lowry, a high school graduate and part-time barista from Leesburg, Virginia, was looking for a job. To that end, he posted this handwritten note to a newly created Linked In page.

February 27, 2021. Dear Future Employer--My name is Ryan Lowry, I am 19 years old, live in Leesburg, Virginia, and I have autism. I also have a unique sense of humor, am gifted at math, really good with technology, and a really quick learner. I am interested in a job in animation, or in IT. I realize that someone like you will have to take a chance on me, I don't learn like typical people do. I would need a mentor to teach me, but I learn quickly, once you explain it, I get it. I promise that if you hire me and teach me, you'll be glad that you did. I will show up every day, do what you tell me to do, and work really hard. Please let me know if you would like to talk about this with me. Thank you. Sincerely, Ryan Lowry

Image credit: Ryan Lowry via Bored Panda

It was Ryan’s father who suggested posting an open letter to Linked In rather than mailing them out to individuals.

And it was his younger brother’s idea to write the letter out and post a photo, instead of typing it, because of their family’s appreciation of the lost art.

They were right. Ryan’s note caught the world’s attention.

His Washington Post coverage was even tweeted by an Illinois Congressman:

And a DC radio station, Hot 99.5, interviewed Ryan’s older sister on their program Your Morning Show, where she called for normalizing the acceptance of learning differences because:

“Everybody learns differently.”

The show’s DJ even mentioned that the program had been fielding calls on the family’s behalf, from companies such as Lockheed Martin.

As for Ryan, things couldn’t be working out better for him.

Image credit: Ryan Lowry via Bored Panda

A number of people have reached out to help him pursue his career goals.

According to his Facebook page, by April he was enrolled in an animation course through a program called Exceptional Minds, which describes itself as “a professional training academy and working digital arts and animation studio serving individuals on the autism spectrum.”

Ryan also began an IT course through Melwood’s abilIT program, a DC nonprofit that provides training in technical, professional, and personal development to people with disabilities.

He even animated a short film with his music therapy class, which you can watch on You Tube.

For now, Ryan is continuing his education and weighing his options, but it’s so wonderful to see him making progress towards his career goals.

How’s that for Friday Feels? Do you see the value in a well-timed handwritten note? Tell us in the comments.


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