Sweet success: Viral video shows ice cream shop employee with Down syndrome celebrating 1st paycheck

ARDEN, N.C. — A North Carolina woman celebrating her first paycheck has stolen the hearts of millions of TikTok users.

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Dale Beck, 28, who has Down syndrome, was videoed by her mother earlier this month proudly displaying the fruits of her labor as a new employee of Howdy Homemade Ice Cream in Arden.

The 52-second video garnered several million views before Beck’s mother was forced to remove it from the platform “due to a few issues,” and several subsequent posts have chronicled Beck’s newfound fame.

The Texas-based ice cream franchise, with the mission of hiring people with disabilities, opened its doors in Arden in June, WLOS reported.

“In the midst of the day-to-day and the stress of working this business, you wonder, ‘My god, what have we gotten ourselves into?’” franchise owner Pete Brewer told the TV station, adding, “When I watch Dale’s video, it was a full-stop moment when you go, ‘Wait a minute, we’re doing the right thing.’”

Brewer also told WLOS that the Arden store currently employs 16 people, 12 of whom have disabilities.

“Eighty-two percent of disabled adults do not work, and we believe a big reason for that is insufficient opportunity,” Brewer told the TV station, adding, “We’re all about giving disabled adults a chance to show what they can do.”

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And what does Beck think about the setup?

“I love it here. It’s a nice place,” she told WLOS.