Sioux Falls RISE students run a coffee business at Lincoln High

From left to right: Cassia Oaks, education assistant;  Kaden Kittamus and Rhonda Lambert, both freshmen at Lincoln High School, serve coffee to LHS senior Randa LaRue on May 20, 2022.

“Wake up and smell the coffee” might as well be the motto of a group of Lincoln High School students who arrive at school more than half an hour before the first bell rings to sell coffee in the hallways.

Students in RISE (Reaching Independence through Structured Education), a special education program, sold coffee every day at school this year.

Friday was the last day of activity for young entrepreneurs for this school year, as the last day of school is May 25.

The coffee program began last year with a $2,800 grant from the Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation. Originally, the students made smoothies, and now they are turning to coffee. The grant went towards supplies needed to run the carts and to buy beans and cold brew coffee at Flyboy Donuts.

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Katie Kroeze (left), journalism professor at Lincoln High School, buys an iced coffee at the RISE coffee stand at LHS Cassia Oaks (center), teaching assistant, and Kaden Kittamus (right), freshman at LHS, May 20, 2022.

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RISE students arrived before 7:30 a.m. to fire up the hot coffee maker and get the cart ready to roll down the hall and sell coffee in front of the school library.

Kaden Kittamus, a freshman at LHS, remained punctual throughout the school year, making sure to arrive at school on time to start the business of roasting beans, filtering coffee and preparation of creams, sugar, iced and hot coffee.

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