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Jamina BoneJamina Bone (Photo by Urban Fox Photography)
Jamina Bone is on a dual mission: to bring a community coffee shop called "Cup on the Hill" to the historic Strawberry Hill area of Kansas City, Kan., while helping disadvantaged youth break the poverty cycle by offering jobs and on-the-job skill training working at the coffee shop.
A fundraising event planned from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 25, gives the community the opportunity to contribute to her goal by participating in a scavenger hunt in which the proceeds will help to bring her long-held dream closer to reality. The hunt is tentatively planned to start at the farmer's market at 6th Street and Barnett. The participants will compete for first, second and third prizes for a suggested donation of $10 per contestant.
A former special education teacher, Bone plans to open her coffee shop soon in her Strawberry Hill neighborhood where she and her husband also live. The coffee shop will have a three-fold function: gallery space for local artists; a community gathering spot and most important, a place where disadvantaged young people ages16-25 can learn work-related skills such as resume writing, interviewing skills and get on-the-job training.
Having worked in special education at a local charter school and at two local school districts, she has definite and heartfelt ideas with which to assist those youth with economic, physical and mental disadvantages by giving them the opportunity to work in the real world. Bone wants to bring humanity to disadvantaged youth in the workforce and also help them develop age-appropriate skills that can serve them during their lifetime.
Her three-step program includes a first stage: preparation which lasts for one to two months and offers assessments, volunteerism and some instruction to the participants. A second stage: practice, lasts three to six months and occurs after acceptance in the program. A training program is developed according to the individual's abilities, interests and determination, and paid employment begins upon completion of the plan. The last stage: performance, lasts about two to four months, and is the time when skills have been mastered and the participant is eligible for a raise.
Cup on the Hill has fiscal sponsorship from the Young World Foundation, a Kansas City, Mo., 501 (c) organization that focuses on youth leadership and philanthropy. Bone is the vice president of that nonprofit, and the foundation's president, Debrina Wright, serves as A Cup on the Hill's secretary. Bone's organization is also working with a metro-wide homeless coalition," Coalition for Homeless Youth Providers of Services" which is a collection of homeless youth providers including LINC, reStart and Hillcrest organizations.
Bone's goal is to raise $3,000 from the scavenger hunt. She is also applying for a grant to cover equipment and initial rental costs. She hopes to soon offer more than a cup of coffee – a head start to at-risk youth in the community with her Cup on the Hill project.