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Student-Run Business at SMS Brewing Success

A coffee business at Skyview Middle School is quickly rising to the top. Rise Above Grounds is operated by young entrepreneurs in the school’s R.I.S.E. (Reaching Independence through Support and Education) Program. This center-based special education program supports students who face cognitive and physical challenges.

The java shop opened in late October and was started to help students learn real-life skills such as counting and managing money. 

Baristas take orders from staff during the week and each Friday deliver handmade beverages to customers for a donation. Dutch Bros Coffee donated the initial supply of cups and ingredients to get started. Recently, another organization several states away heard about the business endeavor and donated a 45-cup coffee maker.

“Each week, we are seeing students gain more independence with their skills,” said Shauna Anderson, program teacher. “There is a great team effort among all the students as we do this every week.”

Sales remain consistent, and the business has added tea and hot chocolate as drink options. Pastries are planned as the next new menu item. “I am hoping to bring in one of our parents to teach everyone about baking,” Anderson shared.

R.I.S.E. students prepare hot drinks for coffee business customers.Coffee business has branded cups for customers.R.I.S.E. class members deliver beverages to customers in the SMS office.R.I.S.E. class prepares coffee drinks for customers.

Amy Matisek
amatisek@d49.org