Walk through the main entrance of Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, and chances are you will notice the smell of coffee — and the energy of high school students at Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop.
The Youth Transition Program at Hood River Valley High School is using the café to provide valuable work experience for youth with barriers to employment.
Each student works with program leaders from the Hood River County School District, Andrea Rogers, vocational rehabilitation counselor and Cindy Posey, youth transition specialist to develop employment plans.
Students work at the café throughout the year and learn valuable hands-on money management, basic business skills and customer service.
Providence provides the students with all the equipment and supplies. Each student also receives training through the Providence hospital volunteer program. Any proceeds from the café support students in the transition program.
Posey was thrilled to partner with Providence to provide this opportunity to local children.
“I love being able to provide kids real-life job skills that can translate into a good job with other coffee shops or local businesses,” said Posey.
“I’ve had students tell me it’s one of the reasons they come to school every day, and many have expressed how much they enjoy it. It’s really helped some of the more quiet students come out of their shell.”
The Hood River Valley High School Youth Transition Program works in collaboration with the Oregon Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, the Oregon Department of Education, and the University of Oregon.
To support local high school students in this program, please consider stopping by Sacred Grounds Café for a cup of coffee between 8 and 9:30 a.m., Tuesday through Friday.