By Isabelle Flener
College for Life is planting their entrepreneurial seeds in Reid Memorial Library. Their newly opened coffee stand is available for students, staff, and faculty to enjoy on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:45–10:45 a.m. during the spring semester.
One College for Life student, Mary Mcnamee, was extremely excited about the opening of the College for Life Coffee Stand. She has been a part of the College for Life program since 2005 and a part of Lewis and Clark Community College since 1985.
“I enjoy working at the Coffee Stand, because I like being around people and helping them,” Mcnamee said. “My favorite drink item is the hot tea which has a lot of different flavors, and my favorite snack is the peanut butter crackers.”
College for Life students are split up into two teams, one staffs the stand itself while the other makes coffee and completes the behind-the-scenes work. The teams switch stations weekly.
The coffee stand offers a variety of grab and go items for everyone’s tastebuds. Currently, the menu has drink items like Bunkhouse Joe coffee, hot and flavored teas, hot chocolate, and many flavored syrups. Also included in the coffee stand are prepackaged pastries, granola bars, candy, and other options of snacks.
College for Life faculty help and support students as they serve customers a variety of menu items. Katelyn Baahlmann is one of them, and she has been a part of the program for 10 years.
“The coffee stand gives CFL students the opportunity to provide a purpose,” Baahlmann said. “Many of them already have jobs, but many also have skills people know nothing about. Therefore, I feel like when you do something like this it gives the students a chance to showcase their skills. Some of them have good math skills so they can handle the money, some of them have costumer service skills so they can be our greeters. It gives them that sense of purpose and something to do, and that is great. Especially a community-based learning like this is super important for everybody.”
Next semester the coffee stand is hoping to be open four days a week, Monday through Thursday, with hours to be determined, Baahlmann said. They also plan on adding additional items as the days get warmer.
“In April, the coffee stand will be rolling out new menu items,” Baahlmann said. “We will be offering Bunkhouse Joe ice coffee and some iced tea. Different things to enter the warm seasons, but we will keep the hot coffee,”
Donations are accepted and welcomed. L&C’s College for Life program is for adults with intellectual disabilities. The curriculum is based on student interest. Classes mix academics with hands-on activities, ranging from art, geography and math to music, drama, healthy snacking and scrapbooking.