Students can choose to get coffee in the mornings, courtesy to the coffee shop and peer educator Alicia Sinclair, who runs it.
The shop is open from 8:15 a.m. to 8:25 a.m. on Tuesdays, and 8 a.m. to 8:25 a.m.Wednesday through Friday. It offers iced coffee, hot coffee, hot chocolate, bottled water, Keurig coffee and cookies. Prices range from .50 to $2.50.
The shop was started in 2015 by Emily McEntire, who has since moved on to Kirkwood as a Special School Educator.
Sinclair runs the coffee shop with Angela Backer, and the SSD students are sometimes there to help and clean up later.
Sinclair enjoys running it each morning, due to all the students she’s met.
“I like meeting the different students, especially the ones that come in over and over again… Just keeping a smile on everybody’s face,” Sinclair said.
It is overall a beneficial experience for everyone involved. SSD uses the money to support the students with community-based opportunities, pre- employment and field trips.
“We went to the Botanical Gardens; we went to the park; we went to the Stadium. We like to kinda take them out to learn restaurant skills,” Sinclair said.
In 2019, the money was used to build an apartment on the third floor for the SSD students to work in.
“Basically we furnished the whole apartment upstairs in room 334. We do use it all day. Like now, they’re up there doing work skills,” Sinclair said.
Senior Ciana Jackson considers her mornings at the coffee shop something she looks forward to.
“I love going to the coffee shop every morning, it’s the highlight of my day,” Jackson said.
Jackson said Sinclair is always enthusiastic and knows each student well.
“She always knows my order as soon as I walk in. She knows my name and she’s always smiling and real happy,” Jackson said.
This will be Soledad Lee’s first year on ECHO Staff. She also made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year.