LIFE

20-Year-Old With Down Syndrome Is Youngest Business Owner In Town

by Jessica Rothhaar
Jessica is a freelance writer for LittleThings. She’s a proud Pittsburgher that loves to drink tea and adopt cats in her spare time. When she's not hanging out with her kitties, Kiwi and Galdalf, she's most likely in a bridesmaid dress attending another wedding. She is a self-proclaimed Slytherin and would like to visit Harry Potter World as soon as possible!

Parents only want the best for their children. They want their kids to grow up happy, with ample opportunities to make something of themselves.

Mary Ann Pyron is no exception.

Pyron gave birth to her son, Blake, 20 years ago. Blake was born with Down syndrome, but that never kept Pyron from believing her son had a chance to achieve anything he set his mind to.

Pyron, like many other mothers of children with disabilities, was constantly told her son would never have the same experiences as other children.

She was told her son would never be prom king, he would never hold down a job, and he would never win the local “Citizen of the Year Award.” Pyron is proud to say her son has accomplished all of these things and more.

A month after graduating high school, the restaurant Blake worked for shut down. There weren’t a lot of jobs to begin with in the small town of Sanger, TX. There was even less opportunity for someone with special needs.

That’s when Mary Ann Pyron and her son came up with a plan. The mother-and-son duo would go into business together!

Pyron spoke with LittleThings to tell us all about her son’s future and the start of their new business venture.

Scroll through below, and watch the video for even more of Blake’s story. Let us know what you think of Blake’s new business in the comments!

This is Blake and his mother, Mary Ann Pyron.

Pyron has always believed her son could be whatever he wanted to be, despite his disability.

Blake was born with Down syndrome, but this never stopped him from accomplishing incredible things.

“I, like many other mothers of children with disabilities, was told Blake would never have a job, would never be the prom king, or win the Citizen of the Year award,” Pyron told LittleThings.

“He’s done all of those things.”

When Blake was in high school, he worked at a local barbecue restaurant.

A month after graduating, however, the restaurant shut down.

As it is for many young folks, finding a job proved to be difficult.

“Blake missed his customers and coworkers so much,” Pyron told LittleThings.

“But there are limited job opportunities in our town, especially for someone with special needs.”

After sitting down and doing some research with her son, Pyron came up with the idea of opening up a business of their own.

“He loves snow cones and there weren’t any snow cone stands downtown, so we bought a trailer,” Pyron explained.

After parking their food van and opening up their doors for business, Blake officially became the youngest business owner in his town, and the only business owner with Down syndrome!

With help from family, Blake’s Snow Shack had an incredibly successful soft-opening.

Blake’s Snow Shack was slate to open this year on Mother’s Day weekend.

“We are already exhausted and very excited,” Pyron explained in anticipation of the grand opening.

Blake is very much looking forward to interacting with his customers again.

After speaking with Pyron, it was clear she is extremely proud of her son.

“I want to personally challenge moms to believe in yourselves. We know our children better than anyone else and if you believe in yourself, as a mom, and you believe in your child, your dreams can come true,” Pyron told LittleThings.

We wish this incredible family the best of luck with their business, and we can’t wait to see what Blake’s future holds.

Watch the ABC News video below for even more of Blake’s story.

Let us know what you think of Blake’s Snow Shack in the comments, and don’t forget to SHARE with all the amazing, loving moms in your life!

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