Mustang Mugs delivers coffee and smiles

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Mustang Mugs delivers coffee and smiles

Freshman Jasmine Hawkins enjoys delivering coffee as part of the Mustang Mugs service.

Freshman Jasmine Hawkins enjoys delivering coffee as part of the Mustang Mugs service.

Paul Szmanda

Freshman Jasmine Hawkins enjoys delivering coffee as part of the Mustang Mugs service.

Paul Szmanda

Paul Szmanda

Freshman Jasmine Hawkins enjoys delivering coffee as part of the Mustang Mugs service.

By Paul Szmanda, Downers Grove South High School

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The multi-needs program is beginning a daily morning-coffee delivery program for DGS teachers. Called Mustang Mugs, the service brings a medium-roast coffee during first and second periods to all the teachers who sign up for the deliveries.

The service was rolled out on the week of Sept. 15 with roughly 150 staff members participating. One of the participants is social studies teacher Derek Hoovel, who receives a cup of coffee during first period every Monday.

“Every Monday, I’ve had a coffee delivered to my classroom, and I always forget because it’s Monday. So when it gets there, it’s definitely a bolt of energy and excitement. I’m like, ‘Yes!’” Hoovel said.

The coffee cart is operated by students in the multi-needs program. Multi-needs teacher Tricia Brawley explained that the hope behind Mustang Mugs is to allow the students to experience what it’s like to interact with people in a work environment.

“We wanted to give our students some more vocational experiences, and more opportunities to be around the building and meet new teachers. It’s kind of an inclusion part of the building and a great work experience and communication opportunity for students,” Brawley said.

Freshman Jasmine Hawkins is one of the students who work the coffee cart. She enjoys the experience.

“It’s fun, and I get to see different classrooms and see some of my friends in those classrooms,” Hawkins said.

While deliveries come free of charge, the multi-needs program will gladly accept any donations. For now the donations are used to simply fund the coffee cart, but Brawley hopes that once Mustang Mugs is turning up a profit, the money can be used to fund the multi-needs students’ annual trips.

“[Mustang Mugs] helps students fund those [trips] and take away some of those heavy costs,” Brawley said.

In the future the multi-needs department hopes to expand its coffee delivery service. A number of ideas have been proposed including offering more coffee options, adding tea to the menu and opening a stand-alone cart which teachers can access themselves.

“There are a lot of ideas. It’s kind of an open book and we’re lucky to have a team that works together well enough to come up with a lot of ideas and figure out the best way to roll them out,” Brawley said.

So far, the feedback regarding Mustang Mugs has been very positive. Both the students and teachers widely enjoy the new service.

“[It’s] excellent. … It’s just a nice service, and it’s a nice way to get another group of the school to get around the school,” Hoovel said.

This story was originally published on Blueprint on October 21, 2019.