Fort Bragg soldier's daughter with Down syndrome employs others with disabilities during COVID-19 pandemic

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Kechia Kinsey always dreamed society would accept her daughter, Kristina. The 19-year-old was born with Down syndrome.

"I come from a very strong family. Everybody was very accepting. We're going to treat her like everyone else," said Kinsey. "Sometimes people treat you differently. I was worried about how she would be treated. Was she going to be accepted in school? Was she going to be accepted by people her age?"

Kinsey and her husband, a Fort Bragg soldier, were worried life wouldn't be as kind.

Kristina graduated from South View High School last May. The COVID-19 pandemic forced her to stop volunteering at a local daycare, and boredom set in, along with the uncertainty of what was next for the teen.

Determined and destined for success, the family launched Kristina's Grinds and Grace, a coffee cart selling a variety of coffee and sweet treats outside a Fayetteville boutique to keep her busy.

"Everybody wants to have a purpose in life, a meaningful life. Something they look forward to. Something where they feel like they're giving back to the community," said Kinsey.

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Kinsey is proud her daughter's business made room in the workforce for others with disabilities, like her friend Victoria. Her goal is to employ more people and open a coffee shop.

Until then, the family is supportive and patient. Thanks to overwhelming support from the Fayetteville community, Kinsey's hope of acceptance of her daughter--now a working woman--is a dream come true.

"She is very shy until she gets to know you. At that coffee cart she has definitely blossomed."

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