John D’Eri and his oldest son Tom were worried about what would happen to Andrew, the youngest of the D’Eris and a man who suffers with Autism, when both of them were gone. Because of this problem they faced, entrepreneurism became the solution and they created the Rising Tide Car Wash to provide employment opportunities for Andrew and other adults just like him.
How the D’Eri Family are Making Waves in the Autistic Community
Rising Tide Car Wash was designed as a concept in 2011, and was implemented in 2012. It aimed to provide employment opportunities for people with Autism, which would in turm give them increased social and professional opportunities, and would provide relief for the stress felt by family members of those with Autism. John and Tom D’Eri were concerned that there were not enough provisions and opportunities for those with Autism and similar disabilities to support themselves, and wanted to create a sustainable and expandable social franchise that would provide exactly those opportunities.
Although other employers, such as restaurant chains, do hire people with mental afflictions like Autism and Downs Syndrome, the D’Eris felt that these companies did not provide enough opportunities for such employees to develop and reach their full potential. Instead, those with developmental challenges were given limited opportunities to communicate with customers and fellow staff, which did little to alleviate the social anxiety and difficulties caused by their situations.
Since the concept for Rising Tide was first developed, the D’Eris secured guidance and funding from a range of associates including existing car wash franchises and communities for people with Autism. Now, the first branch of Rising Tide has been active since mid-2012, and the D’Eris are considering expanding and opening additional locations.
About these Entrepreneurs for Change: John and Tom D’Eri
Tom D’Eri graduated from Bentley University in 2011 with a BS in Economics, and his father John has a BS in Accounting from Saint John’s University. Andrew (John’s youngest son, Tom’s younger brother) suffers from Autism, and the two were inspired to create Rising Tide Car Wash to improve employment and social opportunities for Andrew and people just like him. What’s more, they are committed to raising awareness of mental conditions like Autism, and proving that such people need opportunities and support, rather than our sympathy. All their profits are dedicated to raising awareness of mental conditions and to expanding their workforce.
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