Scottie Joe’s is a student-run coffee shop located on the campus of Highland Park High School. The coffee shop is made possible through a partnership with the Credit Union of Texas (CUTX). Junior and senior students from Highland Park ISD’s Moody Advanced Professional Studies (MAPS) program will manage Scottie Joe’s business operations and marketing, while students from the school’s 18+ transition program will oversee the coffee shop’s day-to-day service.

Scottie Joe’s coffee shop expands opportunities already afforded to students in the 18+ transition program. Those opportunities already in operation include Scot’s Café, a catering service, and Scottie Treats, a dog treat-making service. Students in the 18+ transition program staff both. The addition of Scottie Joe’s is yet another opportunity for special needs students to gain supported-work experience and develop their communication and social skills and food service, sales, and customer service abilities. This collaboration between the MAPS program and the 18+ transition program allows all students to receive valuable job experience without leaving the high school campus. 

“The location and accessibility of the coffee shop as a job site within the school ensures that all students at all ability levels will have access to meaningful job training,” said Director of Special Programs Laurie Gagne. “Access to this level of training would not be possible without the partnership and collaboration of CUTX.” 

While the 18+ transition program students run the coffee shop, it will be managed by students from the MAPS Business Design and Leadership program. Fifty-four students were selected to participate in this year-long professional program. The course combines hands-on business experience at Scottie Joe’s, including tracking inventory, stocking supplies, writing the human resources handbook, and marketing the coffee shop. The course also provides credit for three blended classes – AP Microeconomics, Economic Advanced Studies and Entrepreneurship. Outside of course credit, MAPS students will also be able to grow their professional network from a young age by collaborating with CUTX and other local businesses. 

“With the help of CUTX, Scottie Joe’s offers students a unique opportunity to develop business and job readiness skills and gain real-world business experience,” said Dr. Tom Trigg, superintendent of Highland Park ISD. “It is our privilege to partner with Credit Union of Texas on this endeavor. Their support in the classroom as business mentors to our students will also be very beneficial to the success of the program.”