LEWISTON, ID — In the U.S. developmental disabilities affect nearly one in seven kids, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
KLEW News Reporter Armen Araradian has the story on how one teen is playing a big role in the community, right here in the LC Valley.
You’re about to meet Joe Anderson. He’s bubbly, he’s full of energy, and his personality is infectious. For a few weeks this summer, he made getting coffee more than just “a cup of Joe.”
Dutch Bros. Coffee is known for doing things a little different from most coffee shops, from the excitement they serve within, to the quirkiness of their drinks. This Dutch Bros. location in Lewiston is not different.
Meet 17-year-old Joe Anderson, from first glance Joe looks different. He has giant axonal neuropathy, a rare neurological disorder that causes the disorganization of neurons that are essential for normal nerve functions. He’s in a wheelchair because his hands and feet don’t work. Joe has gone from having trouble sleeping at night to feeling like an important member of the society.
"I've gotten some new friends, that's one thing,” said Joe. “It's made me more enthusiastic."
Enthusiastic about the little things in life, Joe saysthat along with making customers feel right at home.
"I want to talk to people and make them happy, and I want to communicate more with people,” said Joe.
And if you were to ask Joe why, the answer is simple.
"Cause it's never fun seeing people sad,” said Joe.
One way Joe has connected more with customers is with his personalized drink, The Joe Special.
"Excited that people are here with me, wanting to order my stuff,” said Joe.
Joe’s mother attributes Joe’s strides to his role with Dutch Bros.
"He's come out of his shell so much more,” said mother Kristi Cook. “He's more willing to go talk to people and visit. He's not as shy. He's just really come a long way as far as being more social."
As for Joe, he said that all he wants to do is make more friends and see Dutch Bros. grow as a company, and for everyone to be able to enjoy Dutch Bros. as much as he does.