Taste of the real world: Coffee cart service teaches Park Hill South students life skills

Posted at 11:26 AM, Sep 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-28 17:27:19-04

RIVERSIDE, Mo. — It’s something many of us need as soon as we wake up. The essential skills students at Park Hill South High School are making sure their teachers have what they need to start the day off on the right foot. 

That means getting their much-needed coffee fix. A drink that comes served up even more sweet because it was purchased from Karma. 

Karma Jolley is a senior at Park Hill South High School. With more than 1,000 students and staff, it hasn’t been easy for her to put a name to every face. 

"I have been here all four years. It’s my senior year, and sadly I haven't met all of the teachers,” said Jolley. 

Now, that’s getting easier thanks to the school’s new mobile coffee cart. With every cup of coffee, the essential skills students are learning important skills. 

"Money skills, social skills, life skills, vocational skills,” said Sarah McDaniels, the Essential Skills Teacher at Park Hill South High School. 

Some of which Jolley said she has down-to-at-T.  

"Honestly, like she said, money skills, social skills, although, my social skills aren't -- you seem like you talk to everyone already---right,” said Jolley. 

Every Monday and Thursday, the school gets the coffee from Park Hill Coffee. The students then load up the cart and off they go. 

"I like doing this. It's fun,” said Jolley. 

McDaniels said it’s also empowering. 

"It is cool to see your idea come from a seed to an idea flower. Was that a good metaphor, I don't know,” said Jolley. 

McDaniels said every week she can see her students improving skills she hopes will help them in the future. 

"I can see a boost in their confidence, a pride that they're a part of the building and that they're out and about getting to know people and that people are getting to know them,” said McDaniels. 

By next year, McDaniels said the class hopes to expand their mobile coffee cart into a coffee shop in the school’s library, serving both students and staff.