BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — You probably love their coffee, but do you know their story? In this week’s Kern’s Kindness, meet the founder of Covenant Coffee and the inspiring purpose they serve.
On Chester Avenue, the coffee shop serves up hope one cup at a time.
"Hope in a cup, you’ll see on everything we have. Hope is the expectation of a positive future and many foster youth, they don't have an expectation of anything being good in the future," said CEO and founder of Covenant Coffee Randy Martin.
Randy founded Covenant Community Services in 2008 after hearing stories from a foster youth while volunteering at Royal Family Kids Camp.
“Basically it made me break down and cry, and he came over and put his hand on my shoulder and said everything is going to be okay. And so it was at that moment that I knew hope was alive and this kid saw a better future," said Randy.
Randy said foster youth are more likely to experience challenges like homelessness, substance abuse or suicide.
“So many youth come out of foster care and child welfare with no experience, no support system, and really not a lot of good outcomes," he said.
Randy said he was moved to do something about it.
“Covenant Coffee was a way to engage youth in employment and life skills unlike we could in a normal setting," he said.
Covenant Coffee hires foster youth, giving them job training, job placement and mentorship. They also hav a mobile food truck, and all profits go towards supporting foster youth, so Randy said community members can help by purchasing their products.
“Every dollar is going to change the lives of foster youth that are coming right out of Kern County and so if you want to invest in the future and stop the foster care to prison pipeline or the foster youth to homelessness pipeline, buy a bag of coffee," he said.
Randy said the most rewarding part is seeing the long term changes Covenant Coffee can make in a foster youth’s life.
“Now we have folks who reach out and say, “Hey, thank you so much. Now I've got a job, I’ve got a family,'" said Randy.
And he leaves this message for anyone considering getting involved.
“We want to let every youth know that tomorrow can be better and your past doesn’t dictate your future. Just keep your head up, keep working hard and just keep hope in your life," he said.
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