Franklin Upper School’s Good Karma Café aiming to brew up good things

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Good things are brewing at Good Karma Café.

If you step into the café, you’ll find Franklin Upper School students running the daily operation in a variety of roles such as cashier, barista, bakery worker and greeter.

Franklin Upper School has been in the headlines for the past few weeks because of fights and injured teachers. However, the students at Good Karma Café want to share positivity and, more importantly, make an impact this Thanksgiving holiday. Their mission? To help the homeless, and, they’re learning a few skills along the way.

“We want to do this because want to help the homeless people. We care about people very much,” said Mariana Trammell, a student at Franklin Upper School who also works at Good Karma Café.

“It’s giving them life experience working at different jobs,” said Gayle Cameron, a teacher assistant at the school. “Maybe someday, they will want to do this type of work, and now they can actually put on their resume that they have experience working in a café, being a barista, doing the cashier work. It’s all part of the life skills of the program.”

The students and teachers who run the café are donating over $300 to the Open Door Mission to help the homeless on Thanksgiving Day. A representative from the local shelter said with this amount of money, they can expect to have 150 to 200 meals to feed to the homeless.

“The students had asked for the money to go towards Thanksgiving,” said Kate Munzinger, director of development at Open Door Mission. “All the students decided together, so it’s really such a special story. What kind and generous kids to think of us and all those in need during the holiday season.”

“It feels great to give the money to the homeless people,” Trammell added.

As if learning life skills and giving back in times of need isn’t already stirring up good karma for these students, their energy, enthusiasm and collective names literally say it all.

“I took the first letters of the names of everybody in the classroom and put it in descrambler. ‘Karma’ came up. This class is such a good, great feeling all day long, so good karma care just really seemed to fit,” Cameron said.

The students who run this cafe are part of a New York State Alternative Assessment (NYSAA) career awareness class, where they learn skills they can use after graduating from high school. Each marking period, students will donate money from the goods sold in Good Karma Café to a new charity.