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REACH Mentoring Program

Java Jacks is open for business


October 11, 2019

Late nights and early risings mixed with the colder temperatures of fall creates a deadly, sleepy challenge for high school students. Some days, the rush to school can leave students without the daily dose of caffeine needed to get through those first few hours of class.

Not anymore. Students at Cloquet High School can rest easy knowing that when they arrive at school, they can secure a quick cup of joe.

Cloquet High School’s new café, Java Jacks, offers students a convenient and cost-effective way to pick up a morning cup of coffee. Positioned in the school’s library, the café is available for students hurrying to their first class, opening for students from 7:45 to 8:25 every school morning.

Java Jacks has a variety of beverages, ranging from a French vanilla cappuccino to decaf, but the same common factor is the price: $1.

While the Java Jack café is overseen by teacher Al Denman, student workers from the school’s special education department make up the bulk of the daily workforce. Students are given the opportunity to learn the workings of a business, earn credits, and help their peers get a kickstart to their day.

Cloquet student Logan Bock is partially credited with the idea for the café and works there daily. Bock and the other student workers show up before the café opens to brew coffee and ensure that the shop will be ready for the rush of students.

“I like this job because I get to help the other students through their day,” Bock said. “Sometimes all kids really need is a cup of coffee before the day.”

The grand opening late last month saw 18 customers. Bock is confident that number will continue growing throughout the school year.

Other Java Jacks workers, including Kalaya Diver, Chris Starbuck and Logan Antus, say they have also found the work rewarding.

“It’s nice to be there for others who may just need a hot chocolate or coffee to brighten their day,” Diver said.


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