North Carolina

Raleigh woman with Down Syndrome turns dream into reality with help from strangers

RALEIGH, N.C.(WNCN) - Thousands of donations from Internet strangers are making a dream come true for a Raleigh girl with Down Syndrome, who loves to cook and wants to help others like her find a job.

Gabi Angelini is just like any other 21-year-old student.

"She's one of my best students," said Wake Tech Instructor Jai Page. "I love her to death."

The star in training has lofty goals.

"Get a mansion and a hot, attractive husband," said Gabi Angelini.

However when Gabi tried to get a job she kept running into the same problem.

"She'd get all dressed up," said Mary Angelini. "We would practice the interview questions before she went. She'd go in all positive, and go through the interview and tour the place, and then we'd get the call saying no we're not interested."

"They said no because I'm too slow to do the job," said Gabi Angelini.

Each rejection pushed Gabi closer to her dream.

"Gabi always wanted to have her own restaurant," said Mary Angelini.

Her mom took to the internet to try and help fund that goal.

"Within five days we had $50,000," said Mary Angelini.

That money is helping fund the startup costs for Gabi's Grounds.

"It's really good," said Gabi Angelini. "It's medium roast from Guatemala and Sumatra."

"We're brewing up success one cup at a time," said Page.

Gabi wants to share her success with others with disabilities by providing them with a job.

"Kids with special needs all have the same work ethic," said Mary Angelini. "They all want to be included in the community. They all want to contribute to society. They all want to have a purpose just like you and I."

As she begins her search for her first brick and mortar store, Gabi is already setting another lofty goal.

"We're going to be way better than Starbucks," said Gabi Angelini.

"Gabi's beans are the best," said Page.

You can pick up a bag of Gabi's Grounds in Triangle Grocery stores like Lowe's Foods and soon Harris Teeter.

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