High school coffeehouse gives real-life work experience for students with disabilities

(Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)

MAPLE HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Students at Maple Heights High School are serving up espresso and getting real-life work experience in a student-run coffeehouse.

It's called the Mustang Coffeehouse and the students have found the way to a good morning.

"It's kind of like Starbucks in the school," said Principal, Shay Price.

"A teacher can pick up the phone, I can call, dial and ask for a coffee, they'll ask if I want it delivered or if I want to come pick it up and then voila, you have it," she said.

It's all a part of the job readiness program for students with disabilities. For some, it's their first job. Their teachers are trying to ready them for the real world.

"I deliver mail and I shred and I cut tardy pass and then I deliver the coffee," said Dazon Robinson.

"Between a 2 hour window frame, our students are probably brewing on average about 25 cups a day to varying staff members throughout the building," said Karen Lefelhoc.

Each cup of coffee is made to order and served with a smile. The students do it all from the barista to the delivery, pick-up and the cash register.

Coffee is only a dollar a cup but their teachers say it's not about the money, it's about the investment.

"When we're taking them out into the real world, when they're seniors and post-graduation, they're able to find a job that they're most successful in," said Lefelhoc.

Proceeds from the coffee sales go right back into the classroom. It's used to reward the students with field trips and class parties.

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