Teen With Down Syndrome Becomes One of the Youngest Business Owners Ever

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 26, 2016   |   12:43PM   |   Sanger, TX

Blake Pyron and his family refuse to be held back by a world of “can’t”s.

When Blake was born, doctors diagnosed him with Down syndrome and told his family that he may never walk or talk, his mother, Mary Ann Pyron, told ABC 13 News.

“They didn’t give us much hope for Blake’s plans, but we had faith,” Mary Ann said.

Twenty years later, Blake and his family are challenging all the predictions about what the young man could and couldn’t do in life. This winter, Blake hopes to become the youngest business owner in his hometown of Sanger, Texas, according to the report.

The family plans to open a snow cone business called Blake’s Snow Shack on May 7. The city council is slated to give final approval of the business on Feb. 1, the report states. The young man is the president of the company, and his parents are co-owners. Blake already hired his first employee, too, his 15-year-old neighbor Tanner Maples, according to the report.

“We have high expectations for Blake,” Mary Ann said.

The report continues:

The Pyron family says they’d long thought about what the plan for their son should be once he graduated high school. He’d had a job at a BBQ joint in Sanger and loved it, so they wanted it to be food-related.

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They reached out to the owners of Tim’s Place in Albuquerque, a restaurant run by a young man with Down syndrome, and the manager there looked over their business plans and gave them the courage they needed to move forward.

Mary Ann is grateful she’s able to provide this opportunity for her son. Firm employment statistics for those with Down syndrome are hard to find, but Mary Ann says there are not many business opportunities for people with special needs.

“Blake has exceeded everything. He was a football captain, he was a prom king, now he’s a business owner,” she said. “We’ve never limited Blake.”

The young man and his family already have their big, yellow Snow Shack food truck ready to go, and T-shirts to match. Now, they just have to wait for the weather to get warmer.

Stories about Blake, Tim Harris, the owner of Tim’s Place, and Jamie Brewer, a fashion model with Down syndrome, and others are combating the fears and negative stereotypes about the genetic disorder and showing the world the value of people with Down syndrome.