The young man's sister Amy Hyde praised the delivery service's decision to hire Pratt as inclusivity in action.
At 21 years old, Jake Pratt has been hired by UPS. The accomplishment is particularly amazing as Pratt was diagnosed with Down syndrome; the naysayers said he would not get anywhere but he is definitely proving them wrong. He currently works for the nationwide delivery service as a package runner, and his sister Amy Hyde could not be more proud of him. She first shared the news about his new job on Twitter, where she thanked UPS for giving him a job in a post, PEOPLE reports. In an interview with the magazine, she explained that Pratt had to overcome several barriers in order to get where he is today.
.@UPS hires 21-year-old with Down syndrome in Birmingham, AL.— Rick Karle WVTM 13 (@RickKarle) December 2, 2020
The story behind what makes Jake Pratt tick:https://t.co/lqeCLTjVxc#UPS @WVTM13
Thanks to @thejakepratt for the pictures#GoodNews @ClemsonUniv @AHSAAUpdates pic.twitter.com/kD6bnarjDi
Hyde's original Twitter post included a photo of her brother standing next to a UPS truck in his work uniform. She wrote, "Thank you, UPS, for giving my brother a chance and promoting inclusion in the workforce. Jake has Down Syndrome but that doesn’t stop him! I’m so proud of him!" The tweet was an important reminder of how diversity and inclusion efforts must, in addition to minority races and genders, extend to those with disabilities as well. According to Pratt's sister, the gig at UPS has given him a sense of independence.
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! pic.twitter.com/mvlZ1ry8JW— Amy Hyde (@Amy_Lissa) December 1, 2020
"This opportunity to work for UPS means everything to Jake because it is his dream to be able to live independently," she shared. "He has achieved so much, but none of it would be possible without people embracing him and giving him a chance. Jake is so worthy and capable, so it’s just awesome for others to be able to see that. He has done a lot to break barriers and raise awareness that people with Down syndrome can accomplish anything they set their mind to." In fact, Pratt's diagnosis was a complete "surprise" to his family.
His doctors had claimed he would never be "a functional member of society." Hyde recalled, "[The doctor] said that his impairment would keep him from living any sort of normal life and he might even need to be institutionalized." But their family simply refused to listen. She continued, "My family has always embraced the philosophy that Jake is no different from you or I and that there are no limits on what he can accomplish." Breaking down these barriers to acceptance is nothing new to her brother, who has left his own unique mark on all his endeavors.
My brother, Jake, is 18 & a senior at Vestavia. He also happens to have Down Syndrome. Tonight 2 teams helped to make his dream come true! pic.twitter.com/uLoP3KH8KR— Amy Hyde (@Amy_Lissa) August 26, 2017
"He wanted to be on the high school football team when some people thought that was impossible, but he did it," his sister explained. "He wanted to score a touchdown in a game, and he did. He wanted to go to college, and he did. He wanted to get his driver's permit, and he scored a perfect 100 on the exam." Pratt recently graduated from Clemson University's LIFE program in the spring. Hyde affirmed, "He never meets a stranger and loves everyone so purely. He makes all of our lives better and has taught me more than anyone else I know."