shared courtesy of CBS News
NORTH SMITHFIELD, Rhode Island – When Michael Coyne couldn’t find a job, he took matters into his own hands and created one. Coyne, who has autism, decided to open his own coffee shop.
“After I turned 21, I applied to multiple places. None of them would hire me,” he told CBS affiliate WPRI-TV. Now, he works in what he calls a “beacon of hope” for people with disabilities.
Coyne decided to take business classes through Rhode Island Developmental Disability Center. Earlier this month, he went from business student to business owner, opening Red, White and Brew.
Now, he hopes to hire employees with special needs. “We just want to integrate,” he said.
Coyne’s mom, Sheila, said she hopes this business model can help people like her son, who struggle to find employment. “As parents, we look at our kids and see the value,” his mom told WPRI. “We see what they are capable of, instead of the system that’s consistently labeling them and putting barriers.”