B3 Coffee Hosts Free Pop-Up March 6 at Chapel Hill Public Library
A local nonprofit organization, B3 Coffee, continues to recruit and retain CHCCS students and alumni who call the group a welcome home, as they learn important business and relationship skills, and have plenty of fun along the way. B3 Coffee will host a COVID safe, drive though, pop-up event on March 6 from 10:00 am to noon at the Chapel Hill Public Library, and the hot drinks will be free of charge!
Jacklyn Googins is passionate about the business she created, along with Hannah Steen, while they were both undergraduates at UNC. She speaks eloquently and effortlessly about the mission and rewards for all members of the B3 community, and the tagline speaks for itself: “Creating a space where everyone belongs, one cup at a time.”
Jared Pascarelli, a senior at East Chapel Hill High School (ECHHS), is a team member. “B3 Coffee is an excellent organization,” he said. “B3 Coffee accepts everyone. I have made lots of friends. They are helping me reach my goal of becoming a chef by teaching me how to be a barista. When I help serve customers, it warms my heart. I love being a part of B3 Coffee.”
Googins is now a student in the UNC Masters Program in Occupational Therapy, but she first volunteered at CHCCS as an undergraduate, working with older students in the Exceptional Children’s program who needed transition support to gain employment or enter post-secondary training after high school. As a senior, she interned with Kimberly Baillard, the occupational therapist at Morris Grove Elementary School.
“I met many of the current B3 baristas through my involvement with CHCCS, as these students were some of the first supporters of my idea to start B3 Coffee,” Googins said. “They have been leaders in its development and continued growth. They have embraced B3 Coffee as a platform to form friendships, gain valuable work-related experience, and connect with the community.”
Gabe McBride, another senior at ECHHS, said at a recent Wednesday meeting, "I love volunteering at pop ups and selling my famous chocolate chip cookies, and meeting new people and connecting with them."
For a relatively new organization, B3 Coffee’s website reveals a range of activities and members engaged in coffee preparation and service, as well as a variety of creative projects.
However, due to the impact of COVID-19, the group needed to transition to an online operation. The extension and enrichment of the community-building platform continues through weekly team meetings, barista trainings, and home-based volunteer activities.
Googins said, “A large percentage of our young adult team is either CHCCS alumni or current students. Most of them participated in the Occupational Course of Study (OCS) program in high school. We have done two pop-ups at CHCCS schools– Morris Grove and East Chapel Hill High School last February, coordinated by Chris Gibson. In combination with our pop-up at East last year, we hosted a barista training and team member recruitment for students in the OCS program. Chris Gibson has been a big supporter; however, we do not yet have a formal partnership with CHCCS.”
Denise Pascarelli said, “As Jared's mom, I am deeply grateful that B3 Coffee has provided Jared and his peers the opportunity to engage with the community, to learn work readiness skills and to nurture enduring friendships. B3 Coffee has brought joy to participants and shows our community that there is beauty and value in every human being, regardless of ability.”