Step inside Toowoomba's coffee van classroom
YCLC is a special assistance school. "We work with young people where mainstream schooling is no longer an option for them," Mr Smith said. The coffee van has been brewing for morning tea functions, but plans are underway for full-day events, and even weekends. "Our longer-term plan is to employ the young people on school-based apprenticeships," (ABC Southern Qld: Peter Gunders)
"Making coffees is better than schoolwork," Jada laughs. "But we're doing a lot of maths in here." "And chemistry too," Katie Byrne, the barista who oversees the project, quickly adds. (ABC Southern Qld: Peter Gunders)
The young people worked with Toowoomba-based Kontraband Studio to paint the trailer. "They designed it themselves," Mr Smith said. "The kids are really into that style of art, and it gives them a sense of ownership of the van." (ABC Southern Qld: Peter Gunders)
Barista Katie Byrne says the van is a great showcase for young people's skills."This is real stuff, they're making real coffees for real people," she said. "And they meet people of all walks of life. It is really great experience for them to go forth and conquer the world."
Mr Smith says the coffee van has helped the YCLC students with practical skill levels, as well as building confidence and resilience. "It gives them the chance to get used to what business people expect, and what the public expect," he said. "They learn to work together as a team, and that is so important. "It really is amazing what a cup of coffee can do."