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Shawn Goes Bananas…With the Help of JPMorgan Chase

Providing a helping hand—and financial training—to members of the neurodiverse community.

Apr 22, 2024

Banana cream pudding is a southern staple, so it isn’t surprising that Shawn Rosier learned to cook it at home with his mother. What is surprising, however, is what he did with that knowledge: in March 2024, he launched his own business, Shawn Goes Bananas, with the help of his mother. A dessert truck serving an assortment of gourmet banana cream puddings and other southern desserts, it was an immediate hit at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where he set up shop for the day.

He had over 100 customers, and sold out within two hours.

Starting a business—even with a mother’s help—is a daunting challenge under the best of circumstances, but it was doubly difficult for Rosier. First of all, there’s his age—he’s only 22. Beyond that, he is on the Autism spectrum and has an intellectual disability. But with this first step, he’s working toward financial security and has a job doing something he loves.

“This is the beginning of building a legacy for Shawn and the first step in giving him independence. People have already commented about how he took ownership of his business,” says Sonia Clark-Rosier, his mother and business manager. “It gives me piece of mind. He’s capable and with a lot of support, he can do it.”

Building Blocks for Financial Independence

Rosier’s journey started during the pandemic in 2022, when he took a financial literacy course with Jackie Gutierrez, a community manager in Miami. With support from JPMorgan Chase’s Office of Disability Inclusion, Gutierrez works with fellow community managers to teach personal finance to audiences around the country.

“The opportunity to work with Shawn and his family on his path to entrepreneurship has been a true honor,” says Gutierrez. “As a community manager, I want to make sure that our financial literacy sessions help to empower everyone and that they have the tools and resources needed to have a healthy relationship with money. We are on a journey to be the bank for all, easiest to do business with and to be trusted in our communities, and Shawn Goes Bananas is a perfect example of that commitment.” 

The following year, Rosier took an entrepreneurship work training led by Isabel Halliday, one of Chase’s business banking consultants. Topics included mapping financial goals, creating a budget, understanding credit scores and digital marketing.

Staff from Neuro Consulting Solutions (NCS) – which provides businesses with the tools to hire individuals who are neurodiverse – works with JPMorgan Chase and trains their community managers in south Florida to support students in these courses.

"For over three years, I've had the privilege of collaborating with Chase Bank" says Silvia Gil, President and founder of NCS. "Together with the JPMorgan Chase team, we've been developing and hosting financial literacy courses tailored to all types of learners."

Coming Full Circle

JPMorgan Chase’s involvement in Rosier’s story began long before he took his first class with NCS. When Gil started NCS in November 2022, she did so with the help of another JPMorgan Chase program, Coaching for Impact. A JPMorgan Chase mentorship program created as part of the company’s Racial Equity Commitment, Coaching for Impact provides minority entrepreneurs with expert insights and access to resources to help small businesses achieve their goals. It helped Gil get NCS off the ground.

“Our goal is to empower individuals with disabilities to become financially independent, provide resources for emerging entrepreneurs and support programs like NCS to deliver these resources,” says Dina Grilo, Program Lead for Financial Education with JPMorgan Chase’s Office of Disability Inclusion. “To date we have delivered over 600 financial trainings to individuals with disabilities across the nation. Shawn’s success is a testament to the community outreach on financial education.”

On a Roll 

Long before Shawn Goes Bananas sold its first bowl of pudding, Rosier and his mother realized how valuable his courses would become.

“The financial literacy and the entrepreneurship sessions that Chase provided were phenomenal,” recalls Clark-Rosier. “They gave us a blueprint for how to create the business, how to get loans, and gain access to capital.”

Today, Rosier is hard at work—and enjoying the experience of running his own company. “I am really happy to be the ‘anchor’ of my business,” he says. “I really enjoy helping my customers and operating the cash register.”  

He’s already planning a full-circle moment of his own. A major part of his business plan is to create opportunities for people facing the same challenges he’s overcome: He plans to hire members of the disability community to help run his growing company.

 

Follow this link to learn more about how JPMorgan Chase supports entrepreneurs.

The Testimonials on this article are the sole opinions, findings or experiences of our customer and not those of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or any of its affiliates. These opinions, findings, or experiences may not be representative of what all customers may achieve. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. or any of its affiliates are not liable for decisions made or actions taken in reliance on any of the testimonial information provided.