Last spring, Diamond Bar High School teacher Sally Jarvis came up with a unique way to help her special education students get set for that all-important first interview.
She asked her friends at the Starbucks she frequents each morning to host mock interviews.
The “grande” idea for the new partnership was quickly accepted.
Manager Thom Santilla, from the Diamond Bar Boulevard and Grand Avenue store in Diamond Bar, said Jarvis is one of his favorite customers.
“We believe in what Sally does and were thrilled to be a part of it,” he shared.
Jarvis works with teens with a focus on career and independent living skills.
In her Transition class, students learn about money, budgeting, careers, resumes, work skills, life skills, and job interviews.
“Most of my students will go directly into the career route. It is my job to set them up for a future full of success,” she explained.
Last April, Jarvis coordinated the first mock interview session and news of the valuable event spread throughout Starbucks corporate office.
One of her students was later offered a job as a barista.
The Starbucks partners decided to host second session during the 2015-16 school year.
On November 18, a total of five local managers from Diamond Bar, Walnut, Whittier, Puente Hills visited the campus.
About 30 special education and Pathways Communication Academy students were selected to meet the customer service experts during the one-hour event.
Local managers Bree Smith, Riza Erlandson, Steven Gomez, Veronica Diza, and Santilla volunteered their time to work the students.
“We all want to make a difference in these great kids’ lives,” Santilla added.
Prior to the event, Jarvis hosted a two-hour interview boot camp for her students to review all aspects of interviewing.
They researched Starbucks Coffee Company, its mission statement and benefits packages, and completed applications.
For the main event held in the library, each manager conducted small group interviews with the Diamond Bar students.
“We received resumes and tried to adapt questions to school situations that the kids could relate to,” Santilla explained.
‘The experience was so enriching and it was an honor to be a part of it,” he added.
The DBHS students walked away from the lesson feeling more confident and knowledgeable about interviews.
“They had smiles on their faces and were so excited about having this opportunity!” said Jarvis.
“It was heartwarming to see my students practicing life skills that will benefit them as they move toward future jobs and career paths.”