Last month, 17-year-old Sam Forbes, a Toronto Starbucks employee with autism, became a viral sensation thanks to his serious dance moves. Now known as the dancing barista, Forbes’ story touched the hearts of many, including Ellen DeGeneres.
On Tuesday, the teen and his boss Chris Ali appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Forbes, who is a huge fan of the host, explained that dancing helps him concentrate when he’s making drinks for customers.
“Through Sam’s jerky movement through his autism, the music and the dance was able to help him control himself, focus on the drinks, focus on the routines,” Forbes’ boss explained. “He’s become more comfortable and he’s been doing so great!”
Originally, the teen was told he’d never be able to land his dream job as a barista due to his autism. But when his boss Ali hired him, Forbes told Ellen: “In that moment my life changed, my whole world changed.”
Watch Forbes’ full interview with Ellen above.
Ali hired Forbes after meeting him at Camp Thrive, a program designed to help young adults with autism turn the skills they enjoy into useful skills on the job.
Speaking about Ali, Forbes said, “He's an amazing boss and he's also a really, really good friend and I wouldn't give him up for anything.”
DeGeneres was so touched by Forbes and Ali’s story that she sent them home with gifts. Forbes, who has wanted to visit Japan since the age of four, received his dream vacation, and Ali, who is a huge Toronto Raptors fan, received a VIP trip to meet the team and watch them practice before an NBA game.
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