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Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: April 6, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Macaulay Porter, Macaulay.Porter@governor.virginia.gov

First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin Names April 2023 Spirit of Virginia Award

~ The Governor and First Lady presented the Spirit of Virginia Award to Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates in Fairfax, VA on Thursday, April 6 ~

FAIRFAX, VA – Governor Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin today presented a 2023 Spirit of Virginia Award to Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates, a business enterprise of nonprofit Every1 Can Work, which provides permanent employment opportunities for young adults living with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

“The celebration of Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates is extra sweet this Passover and Easter week. We laud this remarkable nonprofit that transforms the lives of Virginians with cognitive disabilities by providing a job that is much more than a paycheck, it is purpose in life,” said First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin.

“At Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates, we are telling Virginia, the U.S. and the world that individuals with intellectual disabilities are capable of being productive members of society when given the right opportunities and supports. We are proud of our past and current employees and honored to be recognized by the Spirit of Virginia Award,” said Ellen Graham, co-founder of Every1 Can Work.

At Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates, employees with intellectual disabilities work alongside volunteers and culinary specialists to produce delicious chocolates as well as other food products and services. They develop essential workforce readiness skills that serve them beyond their time at the shop and into their broader lives and careers.

Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates first opened in 2013 with three employees with intellectual disabilities. Today, it employs 23 workers with intellectual disabilities and is serving as a model to other U.S. states and nations on how to effectively empower individuals with disabilities. On October 1st of this year, Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Earlier in the day, during a swing through Northern Virginia, the Governor and First Lady toured the Sharon Bulova Center for Community Health and met with Fairfax health care professionals and families to discuss solutions to concerning health challenges as part of the Governor's Right Help, Right Now behavioral health transformation efforts. They also stopped at Fairfax's HMart, where they met with Asian community leaders and discussed tax relief, cost of living, workforce readiness and more.

The Spirit of Virginia Award recognizes unique qualities and standout achievements across the Commonwealth and salutes Virginians for their uncommon contributions in private industries, education, culture, the arts and philanthropy.

Governor Youngkin and the First Lady will name four more Spirit of Virginia Award recipients in 2023. Learn more about the Spirit of Virginia Award. To learn more about Cameron's Coffee & Chocolates, visit the organization’s website. All recipients of the Spirit of Virginia Award are recognized during a holiday reception at the end of the year at The Virginia Executive Mansion.

Follow the First Lady on Facebook and Instagram as she celebrates Virginians all across the Commonwealth.

The Governor and First Lady and Ellen Graham

The Governor and First Lady present Ellen Graham, co-founder of Every1 Can Work, and her daughter Cameron, who works at Cameron's Chocolates, with the Spirit of Virginia Award. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

The First Lady gives remarks

The First Lady gives remarks at Cameron's Coffee & Chocolates. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

Chloeie Scales gives remarks

Chloeie Scales, who works at Cameron's Coffee & Chocolates, gives remarks. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

Governor and First Lady decorate chocolates

The Governor and First Lady decorate chocolates with Cameron's Coffee & Chocolates team members. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

The Governor and First Lady with Cameron's Coffee & Chocolates employees

Pictured: The Governor and First Lady with Cameron's Coffee & Chocolates employees. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

First Lady listens at the roundtable discussion

The First Lady listens at the roundtable discussion in Fairfax with health care professionals. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

The Governor and First Lady with roundtable participants

Pictured: The Governor and First Lady with roundtable participants. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

The Governor and First Lady greet Asian community leaders

The Governor and First Lady greet Asian community leaders at the Fairfax HMart. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

The Governor and First Lady spoke with Asian community leaders at the Fairfax HMart

The Governor and First Lady spoke with Asian community leaders at the Fairfax HMart. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

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