Michael Coyne is a Special Olympics Athlete living with Autism, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
But what his character is defined by is determination.
After becoming an adult, Coyne had a hard time finding a job. "After I turned 21, I applied to multiple places. None of them would hire me," Michael Coyne said according to People.
So he enrolled in business classes through Rhode Island's Developmental Disabilities Council. After completing his classes, Coyne and his mother, Sheila, teamed up to open a coffee shop that's inclusive for people with disabilities.
The shop sells coffee made with locally-roasted beans as well as pastries, muffins, and calzones.
The coffee shop is called Red, White, & Brew and is connected to a craft store called Budding Violet that sells homemade products made by artists with disabilities.
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Although it hasn't been open very long, it's already having an impact on the community.
"We've had parents come in with tears in their eyes with the hope that their young children will eventually be accepted into the community," Sheila added.
She believes the coffee shop gives parents "hope" they're young people will eventually be accepted in the community.
The company's commitment to inclusivity is part of its mission statement:
We are a family owned coffee shop serving up more than a cup of coffee. We employ people with developmental disabilities, encourage community engagement, and change the way the world sees those with disabilities. #IamABLE
Michael hopes that as the business grows he will be able to hire people with and without disabilities so they can work together.
"What I liked about the coffee shop idea is the community. We learn on both sides," Shiela said. "We teach people, 'Yeah, he has a disability, but look what he's doing. And he's out in the community getting his social skills.'"
In the end, for Michael, it's all about providing opportunities for himself and others.
"We just want to integrate," Michael said.
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