Meet Nick, A Car Dealership Employee With Down Syndrome!

employe with down syndrome working at car dealership

I’m always excited and encouraged when I’m out and about and spot someone with special needs working at a business I’m patronizing! Last summer I was taking my car in to the dealership when I noticed a clean cut young man working at the dealership who I thought may have Down syndrome. (I have to admit I’m not always sure if someone has Down syndrome or not, and often ask my wife “Does that person have Down syndrome.” — Just being honest.) 🙂

I approached the young man, Nick, to introduce myself and sure enough he did have Down syndrome! I said hello to him, then pulled out my phone, and proceeded to show him some pictures of our son, and even Facetime’d my wife so she could say hello to Nick! (I’m sure I looked like a creeper, but I didn’t care. I was excited to see someone like Nick working at a “real job!”)

As a father of a five year old with Down syndrome it really gives me hope to see businesses like Park Cities Ford hire people with special needs. I was back at the dealership recently and saw Nick still there working and having fun with other employees – and I was proud! I hope more companies follow Park Cities Ford example and give people like Nick (and Noah) a chance!

Way to go Park Cities Ford!

Check out the short video below for more on Nick’s story, or read about it here.

What did you think about Nick’s story? For those of you with children with Down syndrome how do you feel when you see stories like this? For everyone else: what companies have you seen that hire people with special needs? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.

Comments

  1. Rhonda Wood Ryan says:

    Makes me wish that we lived in the Dallas area so that we could do business there too! Gives me even more hope for our 9 yo son who happens to rock an extra chromosome!

    • Hey Rhonda, thanks for the comment! Where are you guys located? I’m going to publish a blog post soon on various employees that hire people with Down syndrome / other special needs. I shared this post on our Facebook page and asked our community if they new of other companies who hired employees with special needs and had a good number of responses. I think it would be interesting to compile a list.

  2. zrinka bilic says:

    Bravo Nick! I’m happy for You and hope one day my son is going to have job and to take care of himself.

  3. It is not cool to go up to someone you don’t know and ask them if they have DS. Some people with DS – but not all – don’t take pride in having a condition, would rather not have it, and are embarrassed about being visually identified through facial ‘stigma’ and other clues such as shortness of stature.

    • Hi Rob – thanks for the comment. I actually didn’t go up and ask if Nick had Down syndrome. When I first noticed him working he is a little ways away, and as I got closer I could tell that he had Down syndrome.

  4. It would have been nice it Nick would have been interviewed, also. Keep up the good work, Nick!

    • Yah, that’s a good point. Not sure why they didn’t interview Nick, but none the less it’s a pretty cool story!

      • Dear Rick – this is Angela Enright at Park Cities Ford. I’m the director of Public Relations and I wanted to thank you for highlighting Nick. His is a great story. In response to the questions above regarding an interview with Nick – Nick is simply not very verbal. He prefers to show me texts or “show me” what he means, sometimes with photos. We work off a task board with velcroed words that he can point to. At the time the story was done by Ford, Nick had only been with us a few months and was still learning his job and getting comfortable with his internship tasks. He has been a part time paid employee since his graduation from high school last year. His job is Sales Support. He checks our vehicle inventory daily to ensure the doors are locked, windows secure, tires inflated, tail gates closed etc. He uses orange traffic cones to let us know where he is working and what is left to do. He also assists the service department with organizing daily tickets in sequential order so they are easier to file. Our team adopted him immediately and call Nick their “brother.” He will be with us two years in March. We want nothing more than to have Nick’s success inspire other businesses to consider hiring employees with unique abilities. Nick’s goal this year is for independent transportation to and from work and adding another job task. Let’s stay in touch. Sincerely, Angela

        • Angela,

          Thanks so much for your comment and for all you guys are doing, I think it’s great! I also think those goals are awesome and can’t wait to hear how things progress. We shared this story on our Facebook page as well and I was encouraged by the response! Feel free to shoot me an email anytime. I’d love to say hi the next time I’m getting an oil change. 🙂

        • Angela it sounds like you really know your stuff when working with people with special needs. Bravo to you and the dealership for making this young man feel so comfortable and wanted. I wish there were more like you all in the world.

  5. What an inspiring Young Man with Down Syndrome who works at a Car Dealership

  6. Mary martin says:

    As a grandma of a child with Down’s Syndrome I love this post! ❤️

  7. Loved it! My daughter is11 and i know she will do great things some day!

  8. This has given us hope that our eighteen year old son may some day find employment.

  9. I always notice the employees with DS and other issues working at my local Target andwhole foods, way to go!!! My hope is to create a business for my grandbaby to run and own someday.

  10. Silverline says:

    This post gives me hope for my 2 my year old son with DS . Things can only get better for him. Though we leave in England where people with disabilities get disability allowance I will want him to be able to work and take care of himself one day.

  11. how inspiring. thank-you for sharing this. how about noah? and the baby. love to see them and your beautiful wife.

  12. keep up the good work, saw previous posts

  13. Alex Ida's Mommy says:

    Nick’s story was beautiful and inspiring!!! Makes me want to fly down to Texas and meet Nick and purchase a Ford😄😄 and I’m not a Ford fan but that dealership and the employees there ROCK!! I have a beauty that’s 3 years old and she will be proud of who she IS!!! Down Syndrome isn’t who she is…it’s just the condition she HAS!! SHE’S BEAUTIFUL,SMART,SASSY AND A TOTAL DIVA! She will be that one young lady that will be happy to say…yes, I have DS BUT it doesn’t or hasn’t stopped me from being INCREDIBLE ME!!! Thank you for awesome posts.

  14. Samantha Daysh says:

    Well done Park Cities Ford for giving Nick the opportunity. Keep up the good work Nick. Thanks Rick for sharing. I must admit that I welled up with tears. So happy for Nick and I guess that I often get emotional wondering what the future will hold for my 2 year old with DS. I hope that the community and companies give her opportunities too as she grows up. I think its great what you are doing to raise awareness about DS and sharing your son’s progress and experiences as a family. I am a Brit living in Colombia, South America and an avid follow of Noah’s Dad. Thank you xx

  15. Elaine Browne says:

    It is so nice of them to give him a chance, wish more companies would follow there lead.

  16. Chris Miller says:

    My daughter Jennifer works at Sonic and has been there for 8 years she does the courtesy tray and puts the items in the bags for the meals.

  17. Hi Rick!

    A little bit about myself…
    I’m a college student from Canada who is enrolled in the Developmental Services Worker program in a small city in Northern Ontario – Thunder Bay. One of my assignments was to follow a blog for two weeks, reflect on each post and comment on one of the posts after I was done…

    Over the past two weeks I have enjoyed following you and Noah and anxiously waited for your next post! There was so many great posts to choose from but this is the one that really pulled at my heart strings. Inclusion is important and like you, I was very excited and happy to learn about Nick and all the opportunities he has been fortunate to receive. It’s stories like his that gives us hope for a better tomorrow for individuals with developmental disabilities. Nick is a very admirable person.

    I look forward to reading your future posts and joining Noah’s journey. I can’t wait to see where the places he will go!

  18. Hi Rick!

    A little bit about myself…
    I’m a college student from Canada who is enrolled in the Developmental Services Worker program in a small city in Northern Ontario – Thunder Bay. One of my assignments was to follow a blog for two weeks, reflect on each post and comment on one of the posts after I was done…

    Over the past two weeks I have enjoyed following you and Noah and anxiously waited for your next post! There was so many great posts to choose from but this is the one that really pulled at my heart strings. Inclusion is important and like you, I was very excited and happy to learn about Nick and all the opportunities he has been fortunate to receive. It’s stories like his that gives us hope for a better tomorrow for individuals with developmental disabilities. Nick is a very admirable person.

    I look forward to reading your future posts and joining Noah’s journey!

  19. Jawaher says:

    Love this story,,, it gives me hope and my heart is full of happiness. I have 13 months old a lovely baby girl with DS (her name is Hessa) . I pray and hope that she become an effective person in the communities and be independent girl and then woman. I wish all the best to Nick in his life and a bright future to my daughter and Noah 🙂
    Jawaher

  20. Sorry, found your site by accident, I hope it’s ok to ask you (and other parents of DS – kids) this:

    I found out there are jobs in Europe in special theaters, dance groups etc.
    for young adults with DS. As I know these groups can’t pay for themself so they are almost completely “government funded”.
    For example these organisation in Berlin is offering an degree as an actor for people with down syndrome: http://www.theater-rambazamba.org/
    In my opinion, these is a big problem for people with Down Syndrom, in these case they are pushed into something, they can’t fulfill later. They won’t have a chance to got a job as actors outside from these special theater, but once government stops funding these project, what will they do then? They have an official profession as “actors”, and than they should sell sandwiches at IKEA?
    I like the story about the young guy at the Ford Dealer, and I wish I could see in my country (Bavaria) more people working in the public with DS. (actually I never saw one).

    What do you think about such “jobs”?
    Or do you think I am completely wrong?

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