Lenoir City coffee shop offers job training to adults with special needs
Instructors said that the mission of the class was to create a safe space for students or be a stepping stone for a job elsewhere.
LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Lenoir City coffee shop is grateful to get additional support from customers after a social media post highlighting its mission was shared thousands of times.
Riverside Coffee is more than just a place to grab a cup of joe; it’s providing job training to adults with developmental disabilities. Faye Presley, an instructor at the shop, said students are taught how to make coffee, handle money and work with customers.
“You can see the accomplishment on our students’ faces,” said Presley. “We work on counting change a lot and practice and practice; when the lightbulb finally goes off, it’s great to see the kids realize they have that extra skill they can practice.”
One of the students, Elliot Steen, said the class has given her confidence and a support system that she didn’t want to leave at the end of the work day.
“I’m very independent; I like working here with my friends,” Steen said. “All of the nice people near me like me a lot... it’s really hard for me, sometimes its hard for me.”
The instructors said that the mission of the class was to create a safe space for students or be a stepping stone for a job elsewhere. One of the students got a job at Cinnaholic recently after learning essential skills.
“We had a student working at Cinnaholic last week,” Presley told WVLT News. “She had enough vocational skills to work at Cinnaholic; that’s the dream for our students.”
Learn more about the coffee shop and training program here.
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