Barista With Down Syndrome Speechless as He's Surprised With a Promotion
"The surprise is amazing,” Trevor Jefferson, 23, later told InsideEdition.com. “I was so excited."
A North Carolina man with Down syndrome was absolutely speechless as he was surprised with a promotion.
When Trevor Jefferson, 23, was named the director of entertainment of Bitty and Beau’s Coffee in Wilmington, he didn’t have words to explain how excited he was for his promotion.
“The surprising is amazing,” Jefferson told InsideEdition.com. “I was so excited.”
The heartwarming scene occurred when his boss and coffee shop owner Amy Wright brought him to the front of the shop earlier this week and declared, "You love to dance and you entertain, and so I thought it was time to give you a promotion."
Wright told InsideEdition.com: "Trevor is an exceptional employee. He comes to work every day with lots of joy and enthusiasm. He inspires his coworkers. He has fun at his job and he does a really great job."
But what secured his promotion to director of entertainment was his love for dancing.
They explained they often host dance parties among the staff in the coffee shop, and Jefferson’s new role would mean he is now in charge of organizing the events, picking out the music and inviting all his co-workers.
Wright explained Jefferson was one of the first people she hired after opening the store nearly three years ago. She was inspired by her two children Bitty, 8, and Beau, 13. Both have Down syndrome.
"They’re still young but we’re focused on their futures," Wright said. "We’re thinking about what kind of world we want them to grow up in. Bitty and Beau’s Coffee is creating a new way for people to see people with disabilities and value them. Once you value them, you’re going to accept and include them."
Bitty and Beau’s Coffee, which currently has a second location in Charleston, S.C. and an upcoming new location in Savannah, Ga., hires only staff and baristas with intellectual disabilities.
“Most people with intellectual disabilities have never had a job before, so they don’t have extensive resumes," Wright said. “We didn’t care. We just said, ‘Hey, do you want to be a part of this? Are you willing to learn something new? Let’s figure out what you’re good at and let’s plug you into our business.' And it’s been very successful with that approach.”
It was also a way for Wright to combat the unemployment rate among people with autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.
“Our hope is that society will see people with intellectual and developmental [challenges] differently,” she explained. "That they will see that they’re just as worthy as typically developing people and they want the same things. They have the same dreams."
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