Seeing people who look like us in the media is so important.
That’s why we were thrilled to hear that JPMorgan Chase is featuring 23-year-old Coleman Jones, who has Down syndrome, in their advertising campaign meant to honor small businesses.
They couldn’t have chosen someone more perfect! Coleman is the vice president of an ice cream shop in Dallas, Texas, called Howdy Homemade. The store is unique both for its wonderful flavors and for its greater purpose: making the world a better place for people with special needs.
If you happen to be in the area, you’ll find that Howdy Homemade is entirely run by individuals with Down syndrome, autism, and other learning differences.
Of them, Coleman definitely sticks out as a customer favorite, and it’s not hard to understand why. His passion for inclusion and inspiring work ethic have made him into something of a local celebrity.
“It really is his strength, having Down syndrome,” said Tom Landis, the founder of Howdy Homemade. “I heard someone ask Coleman what a flavor tastes like. And he said, ‘It tastes like a new puppy dog.'”
Unsurprisingly, Coleman has used the spotlight for good! Through various interviews, he’s encouraged everyone to empower and employ people with special needs. And he’ll just continue to do so with JPMorgan Chase.
The moment they asked him to participate, he agreed to be featured on their website, in newspaper ads, and on social media. After all, he knew the photo and video shoots would be the perfect way to spread Howdy Homemade’s message.
As for the interview, he nailed it! In fact, he said it was easy because he just had to speak from the heart about a business — and mission — he loves.
“The interview was not about me,” he explained. “It was about how Howdy [Homemade] had saved everyone’s lives. That’s one of the things I like about Howdy: We frame the future.”
The campaign will make its way to three other cities, spreading Coleman and JP Morgan Chase’s important message.
“We make ads to reflect the world we live in,” said Jennifer Zuccarelli, the head of the bank’s U.S. regional communications. “We wanted to lift up local clients and partners who share our values and share our dedication to improving economic opportunity for more people in Dallas.”
For Coleman, everything comes back to a simple truth: People with special needs are more than capable of living independently and managing successful businesses. If you still have doubts, just head over to Howdy Homemade. Its employees will quickly change your mind!
Learn more about the inclusive ice cream shop in the video below, and share this story to show your support for businesses that are dedicated to making a difference.