While looking for a job in Hyde Park, Ohio this week, a young man with Down syndrome got a big surprise.
Matthew Castro loves to cook and his dream is to become a chef. But finding a way to learn the trade while earning a paycheck has been difficult, he told WKRC.
“We usually go through the process of submitting resumes, filling out online applications, and it just seems like it’s always a miss for him. They think he’s a great kid, but there’s always a ‘but’,” said his mother, Clair Castro.
But that did not stop Matthew from taking his CV to a new restaurant in Hyde Park Square called Mesa Loca.
Kinjal Desai, the restaurant’s owner, said it took him only seconds to decide whether Matthew could be part of the team.
“I literally looked at Matt and asked him a question. I said, ‘Matt, what do you like to do? And he said, ‘I love food. Hired. Done,” Desai recalls.
Matthew was shocked to finally get the job of his dreams. “He looked at my CV and hired me on the spot,” he said, adding, “It made me feel welcome and this place made me feel at home.”
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) website states that people with the syndrome “are increasingly integrated into society and community organizations, such as schools, health care systems, the work force, and social and recreational activities”.
“More and more Americans are interacting with individuals with Down syndrome, increasing the need for widespread public education and acceptance,” the site concludes.
Now that Matthew has started his new job, he wants others to know that he is no different from anyone else.
“I’m just like other people. I cope really well with Down syndrome,” he said.
Matthew also shared the secret to his recent success. “I leave my ego at the door and come with a positive attitude.”