The Posse Behind the Coffee: How a Cup of Coffee Helps to Connect Students in Support of Special Needs Programs

Students in the severe special needs (SSN) program sell coffee and candy during access to strengthen student interactions and fund significant SSN programs.

media by Kira Zizzo
Jatin Thimmannagari ‘23 facilitates the Jaguar Java cart in the 9000’s during access Aug. 26. The proceeds from selling coffee, tea, and candy went toward the SSN program to provide supplies needed in the classroom and field trips. “Everyone needs to meet them [SSN students] and come in and talk to them and interact with them. How can someone walk by their cart without having a beaming smile on their face?” Educational Assistant Theresa Crump said.

by Kira Zizzo, Editor in Chief

Eddie Barela ‘23 wheels the Jaguar Java cart around the first-floor hallway in pursuit of additional customers Aug. 26. The Jaguar Java cart sells approximately 150 cups of coffee and packages of candy every Tuesday and Thursday during seminar and access. “We change out the kids who do the cart every day, so it’s never the same kids. We cycle through all of the kids who are doing it,” Educational Assistant Amber Kessler said.


David O’Keefe ‘23 holds the change purse for Jaguar Java while engaging in an interaction with possible customers outside of the 3000’s Aug. 26. The students sold coffee, various types of candy, and tea to support their program. “This gets them out and about interacting with their peers and it gives them work experience that includes servicing others counting back change, and customer service kind of interactions, so it’s really great for them on a social level as well as an educational level for their future,” Educational Assistant Theresa Crump said.


Sam Johnson ‘21 and Eddie Barela ‘23 laugh as they roll the Jaguar Java cart through the 9000’s in an effort to attract customers Aug. 26. Various treats for sale include tea, coffee, and candy which are all priced at a dollar. “You have no idea how much these kids have to offer,” Educational Assistant Theresa Crump said.


Grace Popplewell ‘23 pays Clay Stanley ‘21 for candy at the Jaguar Java cart during access near the main entrance Aug. 22. Lines formed in front of the cart and the coffee canisters had to be refilled three times in the duration of seminar and access. “My favorite part is the business experience and that you get to help out other people. It never hurts to help another person out,” Stanley said.


Sam Johnson ‘21 and Eddie Barela ‘23 stand ready to assist Allison Yaple with the purchase of her selected candy from the Jaguar Java cart in the cafeteria Aug. 26. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:15 AM to 10:50 AM, SSN students brought the cart throughout the school from classroom to classroom in a search for potential customers. “We take the kids out and we’re teaching them social interaction with the rest of the school and they’re learning how to serve, make change, and interact with their peers,” Educational Assistant Theresa Crump said.