Sam was told he would never be employable. But a chance connection at a camp proved those early assumptions wrong.
Sam, 17, has autism and immediately stood out to Chris, who would be his future manager at Starbucks.
“He told me one of his dreams was that he wanted to be a barista and I tried to make that happen,” Chris told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show.
Sam thought he was coming into the Toronto store for a formal interview, but Chris told him he already got the job. “In that moment my life changed – my whole world changed,” Sam said.
While he makes customers’ drinks, Sam dances behind the counter to help control his movement disorder and focus on his work. A video of his dance moves went viral and was viewed more than 66 million times.
Chris told Ellen he’s seen Sam become more outgoing and be able to work independently since he started at Starbucks. And Sam credits Chris giving him a chance when others wouldn’t.
“He’s an amazing boss, and he’s also a really, really good friend and I wouldn’t give him up for anything” Sam said.