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Special Ed Students At Lyons Township H.S. To Operate Coffee Shop

(CBS) -- A new coffee shop is brewing up opportunities for special-ed students in the western suburbs, reports WBBM's Regine Schlesinger.

Lyons Township High School is going into the coffee business to teach students work and life skills. The school's Brian Mahoney says 45 young adults in the special ed vocational program will operate Transitions Perk, a new cafe in Western Springs.

"We've got students who have autism, we've got students with Down syndrome, students who have cognitive impairments," Mahoney said.


The café, which opens this Friday, is aimed at giving the students work experience in an authentic setting.

"Customer service, relating to other people, money, inventory, basically running and operating a business," Mahoney said.

Several benefactors are helping to get the coffee shop up and running, starting with college student and entrepreneur Nicholas Cozzi, who during the summer, operates Tropical Sno, a snowcone shop.

"Nicholas has given us, rent-free, his space at 1062 Hillgrove Avenue in Western Springs to open up this coffee shop for students to run," Mahoney said.

Transition Perks in downtown Western Springs will operate mornings - Monday through Friday throughout the school year.

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