ARDEN, N.C. — A North Carolina woman celebrating her first paycheck has stolen the hearts of millions of TikTok users.
Dale Beck, 28, who has Down syndrome, was videoed by her mother earlier this month proudly displaying the fruits of her labor as a new employee of Howdy Homemade Ice Cream in Arden.
The 52-second video garnered several million views before Beck’s mother was forced to remove it from the platform “due to a few issues,” and several subsequent posts have chronicled Beck’s newfound fame.
The Texas-based ice cream franchise, with the mission of hiring people with disabilities, opened its doors in Arden in June, WLOS reported.
“In the midst of the day-to-day and the stress of working this business, you wonder, ‘My god, what have we gotten ourselves into?’” franchise owner Pete Brewer told the TV station, adding, “When I watch Dale’s video, it was a full-stop moment when you go, ‘Wait a minute, we’re doing the right thing.’”
Brewer also told WLOS that the Arden store currently employs 16 people, 12 of whom have disabilities.
“Eighty-two percent of disabled adults do not work, and we believe a big reason for that is insufficient opportunity,” Brewer told the TV station, adding, “We’re all about giving disabled adults a chance to show what they can do.”
And what does Beck think about the setup?
“I love it here. It’s a nice place,” she told WLOS.
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