Hugs & Mugs Mentor Spotlight | Patrick


hugs + mugs is café and retail store run by our gigi u graduates, now referred to as “interns” along with our support staff. each will manage different aspects of a real life retail environment.

Hugs & Mugs creates gifts from the heart: personalized mugs printed with artwork and photos-your design or ours-you choose!  Adults from GiGi University are involved in running ALL aspects of the business-design, production, food prep, baking, packaging, and customer service. During the 18 week career training program, interns will continue developing the skills newly learned at GiGi U.  Each will manage different aspects of a real life retail environment- from managing money transactions, to customer service, to inventory control, to fulfilling online orders, safe food handling skills, employee training and more.  Support staff also provides assistance in job preparation skills via mock interviews.  Throughout this internship, interns receive individualized, hands-on training applicable to a variety of work experiences through community engagement which leads to achievement of goals through work or volunteer experiences. Various volunteer engagements are made available for future career opportunities for communities to support the overall broadening of Down syndrome awareness through engagement efforts.

Today we want to introduce you to Patrick one of our rockstar GiGi U graduates & Hugs + Mugs Mentors.



Hi, my name is Patrick, I am 27 years old.  I am a mentor at Hugs + Mugs. I like to hang out with my friends, work at Hugs + Mugs, and go swimming. I also like taking my dog for walks outside. I am a happy person!

I liked being a part of  GiGi University, I worked hard at completing my homework and always doing my #bestofall.


One of my favorite days at GiGi U was when the fireman came to class. He came and visited us. He talked about the firetruck, and ladders. It was great to learn about that!

After I was done at GiGi U I moved into working at Hugs + Mugs, I really like learning how to use the register the most!  The vanilla shakes are my favorite thing to order at Hugs + Mugs. Yum!


GiGi's Playhouse


Patrick is an amazing example of Generation G, when extra help is needed in the store he is the first to say “Yes”! He greats all people with a friendly smile and a warm “welcome to Hugs & Mugs”.  We are all thankful to have Patrick on the Hug + Mugs team!  HE takes great pride in preparing online orders to go out! Next time you are looking for a special gift please visit our online store.  Your purchase not only helps develop Patrick’s (and his friends) skills, but also every dollar goes directly back into Adult Programing at GiGi’s Playhouse.


Looking for a fun way to support Patrick and his friends? Join us for the 2017 5k & Dash for Down Syndrome on June 11th!  Learn more HERE!

GiGi's Playhouse



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