The cool reason you won't hear baristas shouting drink orders at this Starbucks.

Mohammad Aizad Bin Ariffin just got a promotion, and it means he's "well on his way to achieving [his] dream."

He wants to become the first deaf Starbucks store manager in Malaysia, and now — as the new shift manager at a location in Kuala Lumpur — that goal is in sight.


Photo courtesy of Starbucks.

Although Ariffin — who's worked for the coffee chain for three years — certainly deserves a pat on the back for movin' on up, his deafness isn't all that unique at the Starbucks location. It's actually the norm.

10 of the 13 employees at Ariffin's store are deaf. And that's a big first for Starbucks.

The store, which just recently opened in a shopping center, is the first Starbucks in the world dedicated to hiring deaf employees.

Photo courtesy of Starbucks.

The coffee chain partnered with the Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID) to hire, train, and coach new workers, as well as teach sign language to employees who are not deaf or hard of hearing, according to Starbucks.

So is this Starbucks only for customers who are deaf?

Certainly not. Anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing will find the store especially accessible, but a customer who doesn't know sign language can write their order on a menu card.

Each customer is given an order number, which will flash on a screen to let them know their drinks or food is ready.

Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images.

The biggest difference between this Starbucks and others might just be the fact that you won't hear workers yelling drink orders at one another — they'll be signing instead.

The new store is part of Starbucks' mission to expand opportunities for marginalized groups.

For the deaf community — a population that faces high rates of job discrimination and unemployment — it's a cause worth fighting for.

Three out of four people living with hearing loss reported having more limited employment opportunities than their hearing peers, according to a 2014 study by U.K.-based group Action on Hearing Loss.

Figures like that show why we need far more companies following in Starbucks' footsteps.

To Ariffin, his promotion isn't just about himself, either — now, he's able to help other workers in his shoes aim higher.

"It’s an incredible feeling to share my journey and help develop other deaf [workers],” he notes.

Incredible, indeed.

Cheers on taking a big step forward toward your dream, Mohammad Aizad BinAriffin.

Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images.


Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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