"The Monkey's Uncle," a Bucks County T-shirt boutique, is helping young adults with special needs find their perfect fit in the workforce.
DOYLESTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — "Admittedly, when Kevin started with us, he was very rigid, he was very structured," said Derrick Morgan. "Since then, we've reintroduced a love of art for him."
Morgan and his wife co-founded the vintage T-shirt boutique, The Monkey's Uncle, in 2010. They were inspired by their own son, who has autism, to create a business where adults with special needs could gain meaningful life skills.
One of those young adults is Kevin Greco, a 26-year-old from Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Greco was diagnosed with autism at age 3. At first, Greco walked through the doors using his cell phone and headphones to drown out certain sensitivities. But today, when Greco comes to The Monkey's Uncle be mentored, he leaves both items at the counter.
"I guess it's been close to a year now he's been coming," said Greco's mother, Maryann, who has noticed the growth. "At least we know that there's light at the end of the tunnel for these guys."
The Monkey's Uncle acquires mentees like Greco through local school districts and non-profit organizations. They come on a routine basis to develop their workforce skills and life skills. From that point forward, each individual can feel confident seeking out meaningful employment beyond the vintage shirt shop.
Their hope is that more businesses will consider carving out a space for special needs employees to work.
"These young adults have so much to give. They have so much to offer. They have so much potential that I think the average employer doesn't realize," said Morgan.
Morgan implemented a brand in the store known as "Monkey on a Mission," which features items that are either made by or directly support individuals with special needs. There is also a wall labeled, "Merch with a Mission," that showcases products from local businesses with similar intentions.
While learning at The Monkey's Uncle, Kevin Greco was inspired to start drawing again. He created a design based on the 6abc Action News theme song, "Move Closer to Your World," and printed it on a mug to showcase in our story.
To learn more about The Monkey's Uncle, visit their website.
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