A 19-year-old man with autism has gone viral after penning a handwritten cover letter to his “future employer”.
Ryan Lowry of Leesburg, Virginia, shared the handwritten letter on LinkedIn and it has attracted over 175,000 reactions.
In the letter, Lowry explained that he is interested in a job in animation or IT and that he is “really good with technology”, “gifted at math” and a “quick learner”.
Lowry wrote: “I realise 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.”
The teenager’s post received almost 6,000 comments, with many offering to help him on his career journey.
A number of comments came from other people with autism, offering words of encouragement about navigating the world of work when you’re neurodivergent.
Marketing director Robert Brink commented: “Ryan, I am on the spectrum. I just found out in 2019 at the age of 44. And I have had a wonderful and successful career.”
He continued: “If you are brave and self aware enough to write this letter and post it here … I know you will do well out in the world.”
One IT business leader wrote: “Hey Ryan – I too have Autism, and I know how hard this can be. If you’d like, I would be happy to help coach, teach and mentor you and help you follow your dreams of getting into the IT/tech industry where I have some experience.”
Autism is a developmental disability which impacts the way people communicate. According to the NHS, people with autism may find it hard to interact with others and may find it difficult to understand how others think and feel.
Lowry’s parents told Today that he has since had calls from companies with neurodiversity recruitment programmes like Microsoft, Dell and Amazon.
“Ryan is capable of so much,” Lowry’s dad Rob said.
“The goal here for Ryan is independence. He can live in our basement for the rest of his life. We’d love it. But Tracy and I are going to die someday, and he needs to be able to live independently. We’re cautiously optimistic.”
“I lay in bed at night and I cry reading the messages,” Ryan’s mother Tracy added. “This raw, vulnerable letter has opened up so many opportunities.”