Reno pizza parlor aids people with disabilities

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RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) -- Smiling with Hope pizza parlor employs around six people with disabilities. The goal of the program is to give people who would have a hard time finding a job thanks to their mental illness, an opportunity to work and learn life skills.

The store is owned by Walter Gloshinski, a former school teacher who didn't like the way kids with special needs were taught. He opened up a pizza shop to give kids an opportunity to learn something they wouldn't learn in school.

"I was appalled at what they were teaching these high-level kids who cognitively couldn't get about the 2nd, 3rd-grade level," Gloshinski said. "There was no way they could compete in our world with those skills, so I said we're going to work."

Gloshinski grew up in New York, where pizza was a part of his life. His family cooked him Italian food for years, which is where his passion for good pizza arose.

"We were raised on pizza; by the time you are four, you were a pizza expert," Gloshinski said.

His parlor has been praised by dozens of top pizza critics, and Yelp ranked his shop as one of the top 100 places to eat in America. So now, he uses his passion for the famous culinary classic to make a difference in the lives of others.

"My whole goal is that it gets us more recognition so we can expose to the whole world what people with disabilities can do. And maybe some business people can go, 'Oh, maybe I'll give them a shot.'"

Smiling With Hope Pizza is located at 6135 Lakeside Dr., Suite 101.

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