Sam always dreamed of being a barista. But because of the sporadic uncontrollable movements that his autism causes he never felt that it would become a reality.
That’s until he met a Toronto, Canada Starbucks manager named Chris. The two met at a camp for kids with autism.
“Sam really stood out to me when I actually met him,” Chris told Ellen Degeneres when she was inviting on his show. “He told me one of his dreams, he wanted to be a barista and I tried to make that happen.”
After their first encounter, Chris invited Sam in for an interview. Sam arrived at the Toronto Starbucks thinking that he would receive a formal interview. However, Chris gave the 17-year-old the job on the spot.
“Chris just said you got that job and in that moment my life changed,” Sam told Ellen. “My whole world changed.”
Chris believed in Sam and helped him to channel his movement disorder into some sweet dance moves that helped Sam to perform as a barista.
“So, basically the reason I dance is to concentrate,” Sam explained to Ellen. “I concentrate a lot better when I dance.”
“Me too,” Ellen told Sam.
Chris explained that the dance moves help him to focus on making drinks and his work routine.
With Chris’ support, Sam has become more comfortable with his work and with people. Sam even told his family that he feels like his life has purpose and meaning now that he has a job.
Sam is now super friendly and very outgoing with his customers. He’s also known as “the dancing barista.” A video of his awesome dance moves has gotten more than 1.3 million hits.
Ellen told Chris that she wished that more employers would hire people that they think they shouldn’t and Sam is proof that they can.
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To thank Sam for being such an inspiration to others, she hooked him up with a trip to Japan.
Ellen found out that he had always wanted to go to Japan since he was 4-years-old and Sam’s reaction was priceless.
He squealed and broke down in tears of joy. It was so sweet.
Chris also didn’t leave the show empty handed. Since he is a huge fan of the Toronto Raptors, he got a video message from three of their players inviting him to a practice, as well as a game and a gift basket of swag.
Watch Sam and Chris in the heartwarming videos above.
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