A Louisiana grocery store clerk who did an extraordinary act of kindness for a teenager with autism has been rewarded for his efforts with a new car and over $100,000 for a college education, WWL-TV (New Orleans) is reporting.
Last week, Jack Ryan Edwards, who is autistic and non-verbal, was at a Baton Rouge Rouse’s grocery store with his family when he noticed Jordan Taylor, a 20-year-old store clerk, doing his job. Taylor was loading bottles of orange juice into the store’s cooler, while Jack looked on in awe. Jordan says that, even though Jack can’t speak, his (Jack’s) face told him (Jordan) that he wanted to help.
And so that’s just what Jordan did: He let the young man help him shelve the bottled O.J., encouraging Jack all along, says Jack’s sister, Delaney Edwards Alwosaibi.
“Jack Ryan was watching Jordan stock the coolers when Jordan asked Jack if he’d like to help. The smile on Jack’s face said all of the words that he couldn’t. Jack and Jordan stocked the coolers as a team, Jordan encouraging Jack Ryan as he finished each task.”
Jack’s father caught the touching interaction on video, and Delaney later posted it on Facebook.
In the second of the two videos posted above, a man off-camera asks Jordan where he goes to school. Jordan says that he had graduated high school two years ago and was working on going to college.
Going to college has now just gotten a lot easier for the young man.
That’s because Delaney started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the young man’s college goals. Within a few days, the campaign had raised $114,000. Meanwhile, Baton Rouge Community College has extended an invitation to Jordan to attend school there. As of this writing, he hasn’t decided if that’s what he’s going to do. He says he wants to be an elementary school math teacher.
“That’s really opening something up for me where I can just go to school, stay close to home, at least I can stay in the Baton Rouge area. That would be awesome for me.”
It doesn’t end there. According to WAFB-TV (Baton Rouge), local bank Neighbors Federal Credit Union donated a new car to Jordan’s family.
As for Jack, he, too, has come out of this story ahead. Ali Rouse Royster, an executive with the company that owns the Rouse’s supermarket chain, says that her company has offered Jack a job. His family report that they are considering it.