Self-Employment: Em’s Coffee Company

Photograph of Em Lantz wearing a shirt that reads "Eat Your Heart Out Starbucks!"

Emilea, a vibrant young woman with an infectious personality, is the owner of Em’s Coffee Co At birth, doctors told her mom that Em would never walk, talk or feed herself due to a condition called Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum – the absence of nerve tissue connecting the right and left sides of her brain. Despite their predictions, Em graduated from high school, where she had the opportunity to build work experience starting her freshman year. Gaining entry-level work experience as a young teenager helped strengthen Em’s expectations and desire to work. After high school, Em started working in a sheltered workshop – the only option available in her small town – where she earned well below the minimum wage for two years. Em was unhappy.

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