Starbucks and Drip may not be aware, but there’s a new coffee shop in North Texas. It’s called Scottie Joe’s and is the result of a partnership of Highland Park High School and Credit Union of Texas (CUTX).
This student-run coffee shop is an interesting undertaking allowing juniors and seniors to have a hands-on experience of running a business.
While students in the 18+ transition program will literally run the store located in the school on a weekday basis, members of the Moody Advanced Professional Studies (MAPS) Business Design and Leadership program will manage the operation with proceeds benefiting the two programs.
As Highland Park Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg explained, “With the help of CUTX, Scottie Joe’s offers students a unique opportunity to develop business and job readiness skills and gain real-world business experience. It is our privilege to partner with Credit Union of Texas on this endeavor. Their support in the classroom as business mentors to our students will also be very beneficial to the success of the program.”
Scottie Joe’s ribbon cutting on Monday, March 7, meant a new addition to the HPHS 18+ transition program. Already in place are Scots Café, a catering service and Scottie Treats, a dog treat-making service.
According to HPISD Special Programs Director Laurie Gagne, “The location and accessibility of the coffee shop as a job site within the school ensures that all students at all ability levels will have access to meaningful job training. Access to this level of training would not be possible without the partnership and collaboration of CUTX.”
For the 54 MAPS students, the course will include tracking inventory, stocking supplies, writing the human resources handbook and marketing Scottie Joe, named after the school’s mascot.
As their reward, the student will earn credits for three blended class — AP Microeconomics, Economic Advanced Studies and Entrepreneurship.
Serving as a mentoring resource will be CUTX that interestingly got its start in 1931, when “a small group of Dallas teachers applied for a credit union charter. In the beginning, CUTX’s assets totaled only $65. Today, CUTX has grown to more than $1.6B in assets, serving more than 147,000 members in all 50 states.”
So, it’s only natural that a project to advance the education of students would be right at home for CUTX.
CUTX CEO Eric Pointer said, “Our partnership with Highland Park High School allows us to provide hands-on job experience through meaningful in-house internships for students in the transition program. These internships strengthen job readiness, skills and create opportunities for collaboration. Highland Park High School’s 18+ transition program closely aligns with our own special needs greeter initiative that we offer in many of our branches. We’re excited to see what we can accomplish together with these two programs.”
When students and staff members return to school Monday from spring break, Scottie Joe’s will be open for business.
* Photo provided by Scottie Joe's