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This café in Florida is run by students with special needs

Posted at 10:14 AM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 13:14:45-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A café in Florida that's run by students with special needs officially opened Thursday.

Focus Café is staffed by students at Focus Academy, a free, public charter school in Temple Terrace, Florida. They're now serving up coffee, candy, ice cream and other treats in the Temple Terrace Family Recreation Center.

All the money from the nonprofit business goes toward the Project Focus foundation.

Tyler Weston, a 22-year-old Focus Academy student, worked the register Thursday. He said his position wasn't just a job, but a learning experience.

“Making people feel good and stuff. Like, you know, I guess (learning) personability,” Weston said.

Those are skills Weston wants so he can advance his career.

“I kind of want to be a drone pilot. Not for the military, but for like, you know, they like take pictures of houses and stuff,” Weston said.

Joesphine Isenbergh, the executive director of Focus Academy, said that was the mission: for students to learn real world skills to eventually take into the real world to get a paying job.

“Not just learning how to stack items or make coffee. But have a personality, be a welcoming person to that guest that’s coming,” Isenbergh said.

This story was originally published by Darren Botelho on WFTS.