They’re serving more than coffee at Groundhouse Coffee. They’re also serving up opportunity for an individual with Down Syndrome to learn employment skills.
Java junkies can find Micah Nelson behind the cash register taking orders and making change several mornings each week. He works alongside his job coach, Mina McNeer.
Recently, the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City recognized the coffee shop for their support of Micah.
Elizabeth Haney, the assistant director of the Down Syndrome Guild, surprised Groundhouse owners Steve and Beth Hines and manager Christa Schoreder with a certificate and $100 as recognition for their ongoing support of Nelson’s job training.
The Down Syndrome Guild recognizes 21 community champions each year on World Down Syndrome Day. Individuals with Down syndrome have a third copy of the 21st chromosome.
“Our members nominate individuals who exemplify care, concern and compassion in working with a child, teen or adult that has Down syndrome,” Haney said.
Many Groundhouse customers ask for Micah by name, and the coffee shop employees have embraced the high school junior as a member of their workplace team.
“The community of Gardner as a whole has been very supportive of Micah working at Groundhouse and throughout his 15 years living here,” his mother Trudi Nelson, said.