North Carolina woman honored for work to empower people with disabilities

WILMINGTON, North Carolina -- A North Carolina mother who has so much to be proud of is CNN's 2017 Hero of the Year.

Amy Wright earned the honor Sunday night in New York City.

Two of her children were born with Down syndrome, so she decided to become an advocate for people with disabilities soon after.

Wright opened Bitty & Beau's Coffee shop -- named after her kids -- in Wilmington in January 2016.

About 40 people with physical and intellectual challenges work there under her watch.

"People with disabilities have been in the shadows for too long, but no more," she said. "Thank you CNN for this incredible honor. To my two youngest children, Bitty and Beau, who are my inspiration, I want you to know because I know you're watching at home tonight Bitty and Beau, that I would not change you for the world but I would change the world for you."

As the newest CNN hero, Wright will receive $100,000 to grow her cause.
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