BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – This week, CUPs Coffeehouse, a local cafe and proud sponsor of Project I CAN (PIC) celebrates their Grand Reopening to the community after being closed for nearly 6 months due to coronavirus related adversities. The reopening has been greatly anticipated by the neighborhood, as Project I CAN, a local workforce development program, housed within CUPs Coffeehouse works to empower youths ages 16 to 24 in Baltimore City to overcome various employment barriers, is back in full operation.
Despite being closed to the public, CUPs and PIC never ceased their employment and training of local youths, and opened earlier this week with 11 newly hired youth externs who will train as baristas, cooks, customer service representatives and business innovators. These externs, who
range from Sophomores in High School to Freshman in college are now enrolled in the year-long youth development and work readiness program that includes real-world work experience, enrichment classes, community service, and comprehensive case management while being paid a weekly stipend.
Project I CAN and CUPs want to express gratitude to their funding partners, the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), the city of Baltimore through the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Family League of Baltimore, and the individual donors and volunteers whose generous financial contributions have provided year-long paid externship opportunities for 20
Baltimore City youth at CUPs Coffeehouse, helping to ensure a comprehensive experience for the youth participants.
The opening of CUPs (Coffeehouse) means that I will finally be able to put all these great customer service and coffee preparation skills that we’ve all worked so hard to develop to the “test”
Several of the youth externs have expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of opening. “The opening of CUPs (Coffeehouse) means that I will finally be able to put all these great customer service and coffee preparation skills that we’ve all worked so hard to develop to the “test” says Ebony (17). “And despite my initial concerns about coordinating my work schedule
with my Senior year classes, the managers have worked closely with me to make sure that my work hours accommodate my studies. ”
As a part of PIC, Youth will develop short- and long-term goals, professional and leadership skills, and a sense of self-efficacy that will prepare them for future education and employment, reducing their risk for long-term poverty. When asked about her hopes for opening week, Holly Shook, co-owner of CUPs responded saying, “More than anything, we hope that the Baltimore City community will come out to show their support for the young men and women who worked so hard to get here. It’s one thing to get up in the morning and go to work, it’s another thing when getting up to go to work means you’ve decided to change the direction of your life. These
youth need to know they are supported and loved.”
CUPs Coffeehouse (CUPs) is dedicated to bringing you great coffee and food. Through food and beverage sales we are committed to creating opportunities for local youth and building community. CUPs works directly with Project I CAN (PIC) to provide hands-on workforce development for youth ages 16 to 24 living in Baltimore City.