OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – Special education students from the Oshkosh Area School District are brewing coffee for their community. Oshkosh West 10th grader Emma Keranen is proud of what they are accomplishing.
“People with disabilities think they can’t do much, but this shows that they can do stuff, at our school we have people with disabilities that work at the cafe and it’s nice to see them working and actually showing the world that they can do stuff and not just be people to look at,” said Keranen.
The school district’s mobile cafe allows students to gain work experience before receiving their cap and gown. Oshkosh West student Nathan Zander says he is thankful for the experience.
“I think it helps with building trust and confidence and going out into the community to find a job,” explained Zander.
Those working at the cafe served more than 50,000 students and staff members last year. The school district says they are aiming to help kids succeed.
“When we can back off and they can do it on their own that’s what’s satisfying to me because then when you’re not needed that’s a good thing, ordinarily it’s not but here in this situation, it is good because they’re learning those skills and they learn the independence of doing it on their own,” explained Patti Kimball transition skills coordinator Oshkosh Area School District.
Keranen says she is using coffee to open doors for her future.
“It’s going to help by seeing how there are different things to do, there are many jobs out there and it’s nice to see everything,” said Keranen.
The program was started at the school 13 years ago.