A Canadian Starbucks barista — a.k.a. the viral video sensation “The Dancing Barista”— was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Monday, and his story is nothing short of inspiring.
Sam Forbes, a 17-year-old Toronto teen, is autistic. But that hasn’t stopped him from achieving his dream of being a barista, even though he was once told he would never be employable. That changed when he met Starbucks manager Chris Ali at ISAND‘s Camp Thrive, which helps young adults with autism identify interests that can be developed into job skills. Ali hired him shortly afterward.
“In that moment my life changed. My whole world changed,” said Sam on The Ellen Show.
The job, according to Ali, has made Sam very independent and outgoing, but it’s changed him as well, “Sam has such a big heart — he’s made me a better person” said Ali. And the dancing? “The reason I dance is to concentrate” the teen explains, allowing him to focus on the routine of the job.
Sam’s dancing barista moves have already been viewed over 66 million times. Watch the entire interview with Sam and Chris above.