Credit Union of Texas Partners with Highland Park High School on Student-Run Coffee Shop

Published March 18th, 2022

Special education and advanced studies students team up to manage Scottie Joe’s on campus.

Key Takeaways

  • Juniors & seniors from the Moody Advanced Professional Studies (MAPS) Program will manage business operations and marketing.
  • Students from the school’s 18+ transition program will oversee the coffee shop’s day-to-day service.

Scottie Joe’s, affectionately named for the high school’s mascot, celebrated its official ribbon cutting on March 7, 2022.

DALLAS, Texas, March 18, 2022 –Credit Union of Texas (CUTX) has partnered with Highland Park High School to open Scottie Joe’s, a student-run coffee shop located inside the school. Junior and senior students from Highland Park ISD’s Moody Advanced Professional Studies (MAPS) program will manage Scottie Joe’s business operations and marketing, while students from the school’s 18+ transition program will oversee the coffee shop’s day-to-day service.

Scottie Joe’s, affectionately named for the high school’s mascot, celebrated its official ribbon cutting on March 7, 2022. The shop offers a variety of beverages and snacks and is open to all Highland Park High School students, faculty, and staff throughout the school week. Proceeds from the shop’s sales will support both the 18+ transition program and the MAPS program.

“Our partnership with Highland Park High School allows us to provide hands-on job experience through meaningful in-house internships for students in the transition program. These internships strengthen job readiness skills and create opportunities for collaboration,” said Eric Pointer, CEO of CUTX. “Highland Park High School’s 18+ transition program closely aligns with our own special needs greeter initiative that we offer in many of our branches. We’re excited to see what we can accomplish together with these two programs.”

While the 18+ program students run the shop, it will be managed by students from the MAPS Business Design and Leadership program. Fifty-four students were selected to participate in this year-long professional program. The course combines hands-on business experience at Scottie Joe’s, including tracking inventory, stocking supplies, writing the human resources handbook, and marketing the coffee shop. The course also provides credit for three blended classes – AP Microeconomics, Economic Advanced Studies and Entrepreneurship. Outside of course credit, MAPS students will also be able to grow their professional network from a young age by collaborating with CUTX and other local businesses.  

“With the help of CUTX, Scottie Joe’s offers students a unique opportunity to develop business and job readiness skills and gain real-world business experience,” said Dr. Tom Trigg, superintendent of Highland Park ISD. “It is our privilege to partner with Credit Union of Texas on this endeavor. Their support in the classroom as business mentors to our students will also be very beneficial to the success of the program.”

Scottie Joe’s is just one program that expands opportunities already afforded to students in the 18+ transition program. Those opportunities already in operation include Scot’s Café, a catering service, and Scottie Treats, a dog treat-making service. Students in the 18+ transition program staff both. The addition of Scottie Joe’s is yet another opportunity for special needs students to gain supported-work experience and develop their communication and social skills and food service, sales, and customer service abilities. This collaboration between the MAPS program and the 18+ transition program allows all students to receive valuable job experience without leaving the high school campus.

“The location and accessibility of the coffee shop as a job site within the school ensures that all students at all ability levels will have access to meaningful job training,” said Director of Special Programs Laurie Gagne. “Access to this level of training would not be possible without the partnership and collaboration of CUTX.”

About CUTX

For almost 100 years, Credit Union of Texas has provided financial services to members throughout North Texas. Living out its vision to deliver an unexpected experience, CUTX has grown to over $1.7 billion in assets. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works or worships, or is related to a member in Dallas, Denton, Collin, Rockwall or Upshur and its surrounding counties. In 2021, CUTX was recognized with the Communities Foundation of Texas “Be in Good Company” Seal of Excellence, voted the Best Credit Union in DFW by the readers of The Dallas Morning News and named the winner of the Torch Awards for Ethics, Better Business Bureau Serving North Central Texas. For more information about CUTX, visit

About Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County

Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization providing hope to children and families victimized by child abuse. Our proven approach brings experts together under one roof to ensure safety and justice for children. We are the only agency in our community offering services critical to healing, free for life.

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