As an example, Karleigh operates a coffee cart that allows her to travel and interact with people. Karleigh does not charge for her service or the coffee, as her family provides financial support for the business. Karleigh is able to do her own shopping with minimal assistance and makes sure she has the supplies needed for the coffee cart.
The coffee cart is supported by her family. Karleigh’s dad works at Starbucks and helps provide coffee and treats for her cart. Her grandma sewed the apon that she wears, which has pockets to store stir sticks and sugar packets. The partnership with her family and the district, as well as the strong relationship with her teacher, means Karleigh has a team of people who love helping her plan for her most independent future.
In order to run the business, Karleigh goes out with a para educator to shop for the items and learn life skills such as shopping at Costco and using her debit card.
Karleigh uses her iPad as a communication aide to take orders and asks people if they want coffee, cookies, or art. This summer, she brought her coffee cart to the Educational Services Center three Wednesdays in July. Brooke Finnigan, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, said, “Having Karleigh at the district office is a great example of how students have meaningful learning experiences all year long. I keep her artwork on my wall to help brighten up my workspace.”
CTP will be a big move for Karleigh, as it serves as a bridge to help students and parents access needed services for adult life with the most independence after school services end. The video below was made by Peninsula High School Student Lena Janson and shows how much Karleigh is loved by everyone in her school community.
Karleigh will be continuing her coffee service at Henderson Bay High School and the business park around CTP. If you see her, be sure to say hello!
Photo's courtesy of the Boyle family