At just 19 years old, Hunter Norwood, who has Down syndrome, is the CEO of an ice cream truck. Called “A Little Something Extra,” referring to the extra chromosome that individuals with Down syndrome have, the truck is based out of Dawson, Alabama.
With the support of his mother Michelle and other family members, Hunter serves up ice cream for events throughout the county. The truck has been in operation for over two years and sells 22 different prepackaged treats.
The truck also employs other young people with Down syndrome. Michelle says,
“The whole goal is to give them an opportunity to socialize, be seen and valued. I want the ice cream truck to be a tool for advocacy and awareness. I had high expectations, but each worker has come in and blown me away with their ability. It really has been amazing.”
Michelle, a special education teacher with master’s degrees in collaborative education and instructional leadership, got the idea when making post-high school plans for Hunter. She knew that he needed a job to keep him busy, but in their rural community, there are not many opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome. After researching possibilities for months, it all came together – the distributor, the truck, the name – and their community has benefitted ever since.
What better post for Down Syndrome Awareness Month than this? We are ever grateful to Rick Karle for taking time to…
Hunter enjoys serving ice cream and being in charge. When he’s not working, he helps out at his old high school. He hopes to go to Auburn University, where his sister attends, and participate in their EAGLES program – a special program for students with intellectual disabilities. The Norwoods would also love to expand their ice cream truck business, acquiring more trucks and providing employment to people with Down syndrome across the county.