General, News

Cosmos Pizzeria Receives STARability’s Second STAR Award

Shining light on employers, The STARability Foundation was pleased to present its second STAR Award to Cosmos Ristorante & Pizzeria. The STAR Award exists to recognize exemplary community partnership and commitment to inclusive employment demonstrated by local businesses and organizations.

Cosmos has been a vocational partner of the Trailblazer Academy since 2017 and recently hired STARability member Shawn Denton to work two evenings a week wrapping silverware, handing out menus and greeting customers.

“He’s a superstar,” Manager Juan Thompson said about Shawn. “Every little thing we might miss, he checks up on.”

STARability Executive Director Karen Govern presented Cosmos with the STAR Award in mid-September.

“We became who we are thanks to the community, so the only thing we can do is give back,” said Gianluca Corso, owner of Cosmos.

STARability encourages other local businesses to follow in the footsteps of Cosmos and the first STAR Award recipient, the Naples Art Association, and serve as a community leader on the forefront of inclusion. Through partnership and employment, both businesses are strengthening awareness and respect for individual abilities.

“It is our belief that every individual deserves to feel valued, integrated and included in the workforce and community,” Govern said. 

You can get a glimpse of Cosmos and the Naples Art Association among the vocational partners featured in this Trailblazer Academy video, and read more in this recent Naples Daily News article! To learn more about employing a STARability member or becoming a vocational partner of the Trailblazer Academy, please contact Employment Specialist Halley Kretschmer at or 239.594.9007.