Time for a ‘Cup of Inspiration’
By Miya Smalls
It all started with a dream of Kara Smalls, special education teacher at Turtle Lake Mercer School, to open a small coffee shop by the name of Cup of Inspiration.
Her dream would allow students with special needs to operate a coffee shop at Turtle Lake Mercer Public School. This project started as a way for kids with special needs to learn skills such as communication and work skills that would help them in their future.
Smalls brought up her idea to her students, and soon that dream started to come alive. The students presented a business plan to the Turtle Lake-Mercer School board and with their support, the idea was approved. Within a week after being approved, Cup of Inspiration began.
Kara Smalls and her students transformed what used to be the old speech room into what is now the amazing coffee shop they run. With the help of their donors, Cup of Inspiration has been running since November 27, 2017 and has quickly become a big hit at the school.
The donors provided many of the supplies needed for the start of their shop. The shop is full of a variety of coffee, cappuccinos, and hot chocolate.
Cup of Inspiration has not only made a big impact on the workers, but has also inspired students and staff. Students of the Turtle Lake Mercer National Honor Society have been involved with the coffee shop by being peer mentors for the workers. They help the workers with counting money, taking orders and serving the hot drinks.