9-Year-Old Autistic Boy Starts Business to Help Others

Nicole Fabian-Weber

kent's sodaChances are you -- or your kids -- have been the proprietor of a lemonade stand at one point or another in life. It's sort of a rite of passage. Chances also are that you -- or your kids -- didn't turn that refreshing summer drink stand into a full-blown soda business with proceeds that benefit kids with autism. So meet Kent Melville.

After a particularly lucrative summer pushing Dixie cups full of Minute Maid, 9-year-old Melville managed to convince his parents to let him start a soda business. And we're not talking a selling-cans-of-Sprite kind of soda business. We're talking a full-blown make-your-own-flavors/design-your-own-bottles kind of business, aptly named Kent's Soda.

The clincher for Kent's dad, who was at first skeptical of his son starting a business so young, was when Kent said to him:

Dad, I have everything I need right now, but there are lots of other kids with autism that can't do the things they want or need. I want to be able to help them get some of the things they want with the money we earn. Can't we start now? I don't want to wait.

And that is when you know you did something right raising your kids. I mean, how fantastic is it that Kent doesn't just want to start a soda business ... for the sake of starting a soda business, which, let's be honest, seems pretty cool, but to help people? Inspiring for people of any age!

It isn't all philanthropy for Kent, though. The fourth grader likes to have a hand in the creative stuff, too. He has plans to launch a Root Beer Orange flavor next, and one of his marketing ideas is to have a giant root beer volcano. Pretty cool, no?

Kent's Soda is currently available at a farm near his Vermont home, a local restaurant, his personal soda stand, and of course, online. And with flavors like Raspberry Lime, how could you resist ordering?

How inspiring is Kent?

Image via Kent's Soda

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