Life
Autistic man bets on himself by opening own coffee shop when no one hired him
It turns out that being constantly rejected was a very good thing for Michael. He didn't just open a coffee shop. He's operating a whole new business model.
Cherie Gozon
11.04.21

Getting a job is never easy.

One must apply to so many companies and for various positions to get a chance at being hired. It also eats up a lot of time and money because these are things you spend or invest just to land a job.

Pexels|Sora Shimazaki
Source:
Pexels|Sora Shimazaki

But what’s worse is if it also eats up your self-confidence whenever you get rejected.

This is a scenario that is more difficult for people with disabilities.

Pexels|Marcus Aurelius
Source:
Pexels|Marcus Aurelius

While more companies are encouraging inclusion, some still see people with disabilities as a liability rather than an asset in the company.

These are people who are trying to get hired, yet all they get is rejection after rejection.

Meet local Special Olympic Athlete Michael Coyne.

Facebook|Red, White, & Brew
Source:
Facebook|Red, White, & Brew

Michael lives with several disabilities, including autism and ADHD.

Starting at the age of 21, he applied for jobs in different companies, but all of them turned him down. This was especially heartbreaking for his mom, Sheila, to see her son missing out on life.

This prompted Michael to do something for himself.

Facebook|Red, White, & Brew
Source:
Facebook|Red, White, & Brew

He took business classes through the Rhode Island Developmental Disability Center. Once he completed the program, he opened his coffee shop.

What was then a job that he always wanted but ended up rejected, he now owned and operated himself.

Within 3 weeks, Michael and Sheila saw the impact.

YouTube Screenshot|WPRI
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|WPRI

They realized that the one best thing about a coffee shop is its sense of community. People come in, and they all learn from each other.

They also believe that it is an excellent avenue for people to learn about people with disabilities and how they can function just like other people if they’re given time to shine.

Sheila believes opening the shop helped Michael in many ways.

YouTube Screenshot|WPRI
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YouTube Screenshot|WPRI

For one, she saw how he now stands higher and is more confident than before. He lights up the room with his smile and greets every customer with cheer.

She also considered the coffee shop as a great opportunity for him to improve his social skills.

Michael also sells products crafted by his peers.

YouTube Screenshot|WPRI
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|WPRI

You can find baked goods, handcrafted bags, and jewelry made by his friends who also have disabilities.

Michael wanted to put inclusion forward, something that he was deprived of when he was applying for all those jobs in the past.

He also aimed to hire employees with special needs.

YouTube Screenshot|WPRI
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|WPRI

When asked by WPRI what he felt after being rejected from one job application to another, he said he ‘felt like crap.’

This is something that Michael didn’t want other people with disabilities to feel and experience. Thus, he opened his doors for them.

Mom thinks his business model is very promising.

She felt like what Michael did was very much doable for other people who struggle to find a job because of their disabilities.

If there are programs like the business class in Rhode Island, it can help out those in dire need.

Learn more about Michael’s bravery to bet on himself in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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