Galva, Ill. (KWQC/Gray News) – When Margaret Cortes opened the Special Kneads Bakery, it was a means to an end.
She wanted to make sure her son Frankie has a job when he graduates from high school. He has cerebral palsy.
“He’s got a lot of diagnosis against him,” Cortes said.
When he was a baby, doctors weren’t sure if Frankie would ever be able to walk or talk.
But he can do much more than that now.
"He can sing, he can dance, he can run, he can jump. He can do so many things,” Cortes said.
“It was important for me that he didn't end up just working in a factory or working where he wasn't getting that exposure to other people."
At the bakery, Frankie works upfront, dealing directly with customers.
“I just try and treat everyone with respect and make them smile,” Frankie said. “I like serving the community because it makes my heart feel good.”
He’s a senior at Geneseo High School.
Frankie said he’s ready to work more and become a college student.
For mom, it’s a bittersweet time, watching her youngest son grow up.
“It’s amazing to see how far he’s come,” Cortes said.
In the future, she hopes to employ more workers with special needs.