College for Life students and a teacher pose by the Coffee for Life coffee cart.

GODFREY - Good news for all the Bunkhouse Joe Coffee lovers: There’s another spot in the community where you can get your caffeine fix and support a great cause. The College for Life students sell coffee every morning to fund their program at Lewis and Clark Community College (LCCC).

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The College for Life program offers noncredit classes to students with disabilities, providing a chance to engage in campus life and continue their education past high school. Their “Coffee for Life” coffee cart is open from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Reid Memorial Library on the Godfrey LCCC campus.

“You just can’t help but see the joy on all the students’ faces, being part of a college community here,” said Program Coordinator Roselyn “Rosie” Ellington. “It’s such a good opportunity for our students to have some kind of work experience and an opportunity just to make the campus a more inclusive work environment.”

Ellington explained that the coffee cart gives students a chance to practice counting money, making change, taking inventory and communicating with customers. These skills prepare them to find a job off campus. Many of the students already work off campus or have previously worked in cafes at their high school, but the coffee cart allows them to engage with the campus on a different level.

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Daniel smiles for a picture while Sammy prepares coffee.“It’s an opportunity for them to kind of put what they know into practice and feel a sense of belonging to campus, like they’re doing something that is inclusive on campus,” Ellington said. “I think they’re loving it.”

The College for Life students decided to open their own coffee cart after the cafe on Godfrey’s campus closed. This is their second semester, and they aim to extend their hours soon. They also want to eventually expand the menu to include more drinks, snacks and homemade craft items or artwork done by students.

All profits go back to the College for Life program. Because the courses aren’t credited, students can’t receive financial aid to help pay for tuition. The Coffee for Life money goes directly toward tuition costs. They try to sell at least $50 worth of coffee every day. You can purchase a hot Bunkhouse Joe Coffee for $3 or a signature “Icy Joe” for $5, and you can choose several flavors to add to your drink.

Stop by Reid Memorial Library at LCCC Monday through Thursday to grab your Bunkhouse Joe Coffee and support the College for Life program. To learn more about College for Life, including how to enroll, check out this article on RiverBender.com or visit their official webpage.

“It’s a great program, and it’s a program that keeps on growing,” Ellington added. “And we’re just so thankful that Lewis and Clark allows us to have this program.”

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