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'Everyone has purpose': Middletown High School coffee shop provides smiles, real-life job skills for students

Middies Common Grounds Coffee Shop
Posted at 1:37 PM, May 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-19 13:38:38-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Students at Middletown High School are serving up coffee — and smiles — at the school's own coffee shop, Middies Common Grounds.

Meghan Davidson, an intervention specialist at Middletown High School, said the goal is for the coffee shop to be a place where people come and hang out — a place where they can feel supported and accepted.

"Everyone needs a purpose and everyone has purpose," Davidson said. "And that is what Middie Common Grounds is here to show. Every student in this building. Every staff member in this building has purpose, and we want to spread that like confetti."

Davidson has been working on the idea of the shop for four years, and it fully launched in April.

Middies Common Grounds allows students who might learn differently to have a hand in everything, whether that be putting stickers on sleeves, stocking and, of course, taking orders and making sweet, caffeinated drinks.

"It's giving them quality nice practice on job skills that they can take within our community and find a purpose after graduation," Davidson said.

Maria Durham, a senior at Middletown High School, said working at Middie Common Grounds makes her feel "special."

"We just make coffee for all the grownups like teachers, subs and stuff," she said.

Other than teaching students job skills, the coffee shop gives those students reasons to talk to each other and come out of their shells.

Angel, another senior at the school, even found a connection with WCPO's videographer Rob Pieper while filming.

"You just can't help but smile when you come here," Davidson said. "And so it's just a huge burst of positivity, and that's the vibe that we want to give off and that's what the coffee shop is for."

Middletown High School held its 2023 graduation Thursday night where both Maria and Angel received their diplomas, but Middies Common Ground is set to be back up and serving a little sunshine next school year.

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