Behind The Coffee Shop

Meet the Pump It Up Crew

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Behind The Coffee Shop

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For many students at West High, a morning cup of coffee is a necessary part of their Daily Grind. About seven years back, business teacher and Business Professionals of America (BPA) director Diane Fickel noticed that her students always had Starbucks or Java House in the mornings and decided to kickstart West’s very own coffee shop, Pump It Up.

“It was created to fill a need. Any good business is created to solve a problem or fill a need,” Fickel said.

Pump It Up is primarily run by West High’s business club, BPA, which is a National Career Student Organization for high school students across the United States who want to further their knowledge in business-related careers. Fickel wanted to provide an opportunity for a few of her students to experience running a business in real life.

“I’m the CEO. I sit back and I just manage things. Like, it’s on them,” Fickel said, “It is real life.”

Fickel chooses the students that will run her shop very carefully. Every student that works in the coffee shop must be in BPA and more importantly, must prove themselves to be trustworthy and dedicated. Students Anna Jacoby ’18, Hannah Luce ’18, and Antonio Clipperton ’17 are just a few of her picks to work in Pump It Up this year.

Jacoby and Luce work the shop in the mornings, when business peaks during the day. According to Jacoby, they get there at 7:40 every morning, hop over the counter, and start setting up.

“I like it because you get to interact with people at West,” Luce said, “You have small talk and stuff and it’s really cool because otherwise you probably wouldn’t talk to those people.”

Both girls started working at Pump It Up this year. According to Jacoby, Fickel chose her and Luce to work in the shop because of their dedication to the club and their wanting to further their business experience.

Clipperton started working in the shop officially last year. However, he’d always helped with his sister while in his freshman year, which is how he had gotten interested in the first place.

“I started doing it because my sister told me it was a really good experience,” Clipperton said, “you have to take inventory, you have to make the cookies, you have to deal with the customers and all that.”

Clipperton is in charge of Pump It Up during second period, which gets less business than the morning shift but still a decent amount of customers.

Any good business is created to solve a problem or fill a need,”

— Diane Fickel

While this coffee shop benefits the schools itself, it has also `given the students involved a great amount of experience and rewards as well. The students not only get to automatically participate in BPA nationals, but it’s also fully paid for by the school. The coffee shop is counted as an independent study so the students are rewarded class credits for working it.

“Most importantly, they are learning how to run a business and work with others and collaborate and work as a team,” Fickel said, “What you get out of the coffee shop is not something you can read from a book or get from any other class.”

Fickel wants to be sure that people know that the coffee shop not only benefits the school and BPA but also gives back. For example, they donate to West High Dance Marathon, as well as other in school activities. And going even further, the coffee shop has also donated to Kids for Haiti and Backpacks for needy children.

“With any organization, you have to give back,” said Fickel, “I’m a firm believer in philanthropy.”

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Behind The Coffee Shop