IDEA school opens up coffee shop run by students
The IDEA Toros College Prep campus has added a brand-new business to its curriculum.
The Rise and THRIVE Cafe is run entirely by students with intellectual disabilities.
The THRIVE Program helps those with intellectual disabilities transition to being independent adults.
The mobile coffee shop was implemented in an effort to develop the skills needed in the workforce.
"This business does not belong to us, this business belongs to them,” THRIVE Transition Specialist Anna Gaona said. “So, in order for them to have an effective business, they need to rely on each other. So, we've seen tremendous growth in social interaction."
Students are given different job positions and responsibilities at the coffee shop, so it's a realistic experience.
Students are taught everything from food handling to budgeting in preparation for the job. Work hours are built into their schedule and students say the program has helped them improve in different ways.
IDEA teachers say the students have enjoyed working at the coffee shop because it gives them purpose and makes them feel accomplished.