OnaJava: Onalaska special ed. students serve up fresh coffee, learn job skills

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) – A good cup of coffee can change your morning.

Special education students at Onalaska High School are working hard to serve that feeling up to fellow students and their teachers.

OnaJava, a student-run coffee shop, is located inside the high school.

Fifteen kids from the special education classes buy products, open the shop early in the morning, and serve coffee, tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate.

After the morning rush, the students close the coffee bar before their classes start.

All the cash they make goes right back into the business.

“Our goal is basically to just make enough to continue the business and get our students the practice they need and job skills and work skills,” said Special Education Teacher Sarah Ormes.

OnaJava has been running for years, but Ormes says sales spiked when they started offering cold brew options.

Students can get their morning beverages on Tuesday and Friday mornings. On Wednesday, the students deliver coffee to teachers.

The coffee shop isn’t open to the public because they don’t have a commercial license; the shop is only able to sell to students, teachers, and guests at the school.