Ridgeview High School student Olivia Harris works in the school's Epic Bean Coffee Shop.

Ridgeview High School student Olivia Harris works in the school’s Epic Bean Coffee Shop.

Ridgeview High School students with special needs have the opportunity to gain employment experience by working at the school’s Epic Bean Coffee Shop.

Run by the school’s Independent Living Skills program, the shop is located in the Commons and serves students and staff from 7 to 8:30 a.m. on school days.

“Working in the coffee shop helps students gain confidence and skills,” said Ted Stahl, Ridgeview High’s Independent Living Skills teacher. “This experience will help them, along with transportation and site specific training, to find work in the community.”

“I think the coffee shop is really cool because we get to work on coffee, work on talking to customers, and you get to work on real math,” said Olivia Harris, a Ridgeview High ninth grader who works at Epic Bean. “My favorite is our free coffee at the end of the week.”

By selling coffee, students learn important life skills such as communicating with customers and counting back change.

“You can learn how to make different drinks like mochas, lattes, Americanos, cappuccinos and you get to learn how to run a real job so you are prepared for the real world,” added ninth-grader Cassey Lucas.

“We would like to thank the RVHS administration for helping create this opportunity,” Stahl said. “The Epic Bean is a valuable tool for our students to be invested in their living skills.”