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The Piedmont Highlander

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Student-Run Coffee Cart Rolls Back To PHS

Sophie Hess
Lauren Kelley (9), Kaylani Despanie (9), Ken Tran (9), and Carol Frascati sell coffee.

The warm aroma of fresh coffee wafts through the hallways as four students push a colorful cart filled with syrups, snacks, and coffee throughout campus. roll the cart around campus, the faint click of the wheels trailing the warm aroma. 

  Paraeducators Genesis Berrios and Carole Frascati along with Homebase students have brought back and revamped the coffee cart program. Every week on Tuesday during third period in a classroom known as Homebase, PHS freshmen Lauren Kelley, Kaylani Despanie, Ken Tran, and sophomore Andrew Cooley sell the coffee to teachers for a dollar each for an hour. 

  Berrios said Homebase is a classroom where the class Life Skills is taught. The class Life Skills teaches this group of students a range of skills like how to cook, to how to manage money. 

  The original coffee cart program was first created in 2017 by former teacher Nick Bruno. When Covid-19 hit, the school closed and the program was forced to shut down until this year.

 “We started it back up this year, we knew how much the staff and students had loved the coffee cart in the past so we wanted to bring it back,” Berrios said. 

  The newest version of the coffee cart has expanded from only selling coffee, tea, whipped cream, and half and half. It now includes syrups, milk options, and biscottis and gluten free snacks to go with the drinks. 

  “We’re also thinking about bringing cold brew to the coffee cart once the weather gets a bit warmer,” Frascati said. 

  Even with all of their products, the coffee cart makes no profit, putting all of the money made into buying supplies. The cart also doesn’t sell anything to students.

  “As of now we will just continue to serve the staff because of our large student population,” Berrios said. 

  The program not only helps out teachers, saving them time and money from buying a coffee every morning but it also teaches the students different skills, Berrios and Frascati said. The student baristas learn skills in counting money, and greeting and interacting with customers.. 

  “I love helping out my teachers and it is really fun to make the drinks. I’ve also learned a lot of skills like how to handle money and make coffee,” Kelley said. 

  Despanie, another student who helps run the coffee cart, said the students wanted to do something to help the staff, and decided to bring the cart back after learning about the past program.

“The students put a lot of hard work, time and effort into it,” Frascati said, “they take it seriously but also enjoy it.” 

  Berrios said the plan for the program is to continue to serve the teachers every week, hopefully for ongoing years, as long as the students enjoy helping out and staff are still enjoying it. 

“It’s nice to bring some joy to the campus, and to our students and staff. It’s a good little break in the day and gets our students out of the classroom to other parts of the campus where they can enjoy being outside,” Frascati said.

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About the Contributors
Sasha Jerez
Sasha Jerez, Staff Writer
Sasha Jerez (10) is a Staff Writer at TPH. In her free time Sasha likes to draw, read, and spend time with friends!
Sophie Hess
Sophie Hess, Photos Editor
Sophie Hess (11) is the Photographer for TPH. Apart from journalism, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and traveling with her family.
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