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Cafe run by students with special needs opens in Hillsborough County

Posted: 3:37 PM, Oct 31, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-01 10:45:02-04
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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A cafe in Hillsborough County that's run by students will special needs officially opened on Thursday.

Focus Cafe is staffed by Focus Academy students in the Temple Terrace Rec Center. It's now serving up coffee, candy, ice cream and other treats.

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All the money goes towards the Project Focus foundation.

Tyler Weston, a 22-year-old Focus Academy student, worked the register on Thursday. He told ABC Action News his position was more than just a job, but a learning experience.

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“Making people feel good and stuff. Like, you know, I guess [learning] personability,” Weston said.

Those were skills Weston want so he can advance his career.

“I kind of want to be a drone pilot. Not for the military, but for like, you know, they like take pictures of houses and stuff,” Weston said.

Joesphine Isenbergh, executive director of Focus Academy, said that was the mission — for students to learn real-world skills to eventually take into the real-world to get a paying job.

“Not just learning how to stack items or make coffee. But, have a personality, be a welcoming person to that guest that’s coming,” Isenbergh said.