LEXINGTON (CBS) – It seems like we’re in the age of superheroes in our popular culture. To feed that interest, a new comic book store has opened in Lexington, but with a twist. The shop is run by a young man with Down Syndrome. The goal isn’t turning a big profit, but making a big difference.
“I’m the business man. I’m the president,” says Omar Masood with a grin. Omar has himself quite a superhero set up at Omar’s World of Comics and Hobbies in Lexington Center. “This is my small business,” he says.
Omar sells comic books, all kinds of games, and t-shirts. “I like Marvel heroes like Black Panther to Spider man,” he explains.
Omar’s parents opened the shop for him just six weeks ago. The timing was critical. When Omar, who has Down Syndrome, turns 22 in a couple of months, he will “age out” of his educational program at Lexington High School.
“The kids with disabilities, when they turn 22 and they finish their programs at school, they have very little opportunities of work,” says Omar’s mother Mona Masood.
But now Omar does. “We wanted him to be a productive part of the community, and that’s why we wanted him to do something which he loves which is comics,” says his mother.
The Masoods are also hiring other people with disabilities and are applying to become a non-profit with hopes of opening other stores. “It’s not just for Omar. It opens the opportunity for all disabled people, that they are part of the community, that they’re part of the society,” says Mona Masood.
And Omar is becoming a superhero in his own right- strong, brave and wanting to help others. “Omar is so passionate about everything in the store. He’s super excited to come here every day. He lights up the room when he’s here. The customers love him. He loves the customers,” says the store’s manager Sally Hoops.
“You met Omar. He’s kind of hard not to love,” she says.