When Ryheem Lumpkins started working the register at Pizza Ranch in Independence, Missouri, a month ago, he immediately made a good impression. The 16-year-old, whose arms and hands never fully developed, has always considered himself an introvert, so it was a surprise that he really enjoyed meeting new people. Robert Samay, a regular at the restaurant, noticed Ryheem’s upbeat attitude right away and tipped the cashier $5.
Samay had been impressed with the teen’s work ethic and positive outlook, but Ryheem’s response to the small tip inspired Samay to show his appreciation in a much bigger way. Earlier this week, he returned to the restaurant and delivered a life-changing tip to the cashier: $2,500 in crisp $50 bills. Ryheem was taken aback by the generous tip and started to tear up as the bills were counted out.
Although Ryheem’s physical differences were something the customer said he noticed about the employee, Ryheem doesn’t see it as a disability. "If I feel like I can do it, I can do it,” the teen says confidently. He aspires to be a motivational speaker one day so he can encourage others to embrace their uniqueness. “Don’t ever hide it. Embrace what you have different from other people,” Ryheem says. “Because there’s a lot of positive in the world. There’s more positive than negative.”