Tuesday mornings are a little bit different at Trinity Cafe. On Tuesdays, the students from LaVoy Exceptional Center come to set-up our dining room.
LaVoy provides educational programs to support students, ages 3 to 22, with a range of disabilities. The curriculum has programs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, visual impairments, physical handicaps, emotional/behavioral disabilities, and significant cognitive disabilities.
Trinity Cafe has partnered with LaVoy to teach their students skill sets that will assist them in the workforce. Six of LaVoy’s exceptional students come one hour before service to set-up the dining room by putting down chairs, setting the tables, rolling silverware, filling bread baskets and placing water pitchers on each table.
These students are a part of the Graduates Moving about the Community (GMAC) program. The Hillsborough County School District offers this unique opportunity for special diploma graduates between the ages of 18 to 21 years old. GMAC is a school-based work program that teaches students a variety of life skills such as preparing for adult living, life management and transition planning, career experiences and preparation for entrepreneurship or self-employment.
Every Tuesday morning, LaVoy’s students enter the Trinity Cafe dining room alight with enthusiasm. They tackle their tasks with an un-paralleled level of excitement and dedication. Each student wants to help Trinity Cafe by making the dining room look its best.
Students like LaRonda have learned to be more confident. When she first started volunteering at Trinity, LaRonda was withdrawn and shy. Slowly, she warmed up to Trinity Cafe and has demonstrated immense enthusiasm toward volunteering here. She shows off her beautiful smile every time she comes to Trinity.
Gabe also offers a lot of smiles! He’s quick to get to work when he enters the dining room, but not before asking a warm “How are you doing?”. He’s a caring young man and his positive attitude shines bright during the tasks he completes on behalf of Trinity Cafe.
We are over-joyed to partner with LaVoy and offer the GMAC students the opportunity to gain valuable skill sets that may benefit them in future job opportunities!
By Kristen Pensinger