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From the bottom up: After the pandemic closed the lone coffee shop in Buckner, students participated | News


DOLL, MO. (KCTV5) – The sprawling campus off Highway 24 is hard to miss. The Campus Grounds is located between a quiet pond and a noisy road.

The only coffee shop in Buckner was closed during the pandemic and the owners put it on the market.

The Fort Osage Career and Technology Center at Independence saw an opportunity for students to turn coffee grounds into liquid gold.

“This is the best opportunity for me to be able to help students thrive, helping them expand their future,” said Fort Osage Career and Technology Center Director, Susie Suits. “That’s what I appreciate most about what goes on for students here. That their opportunities are endless and they are starting to realize it. ”

The shop is entirely owned by students running from the bottom up.

“I really prefer the hands-on experience than just sitting at the table and learning about it.” “I’d really like to be able to do that.”

Suits said the program was looking for a new opportunity for their student entrepreneurs. In previous years, students ran their own gift wrapping business at the Independent Mall.

While the pandemic made one family realize that their coffee shop was better closed, Fort Osage gave it a purpose.

“So it became a perfect blend,” says Suits. “It’s amazing how you give students the opportunity and how they can take it and then explode it.”

Corinne Dolan wasn’t working at the store today, but decided to drop by to get some work done. A drive not commonly found inside the traditional classroom.

“It’s 10 times better to be in this environment, where you’re really learning and you’re not surrounded by cement walls all day,” Dolan said. “It’s really great.”

Students are responsible for everything, from making coffee to marketing their shop online.

With each shift at the store, the teachers noticed a change in mindset.

“The best thing for me is seeing my students excited to come to class every day,” says Entrepreneurship Studies teacher Whitney Scott. “They’re here, they show up early, they’re ready to go and they really enjoy being here.”

Students are now advocates for change in learning.

“I think our education system needs to be reformed in light of the fact that students are no longer passionate about anything and this class has really captivated me, even more,” Dolan said. everything I did, about marketing.” “I have to do it every day. And learn by doing, not just staring at a screen or staring at a textbook.”

Scott said this small corner cafe has created a community environment for customers as well as students.

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