In 2016 we began a partnership with Prodigy Coffeehouse. They are unlike any coffee shop we have ever been to and we were honored to help support their mission in helping young adults, “unlikely prodigies”, achieve success through coffee education.
Prodigy takes at-risk youth ages 16-24 and gives them the skill to not only become a successful and employable barista, but to gain transferable work skills that will help them become a leader in any field they pursue down the road. When we first began our partnership, we provided the coffee that Prodigy uses at their coffee bar as well as training to their team. This year, we are excited to work on a collaboration coffee, Prodigy Blend, to be released later this summer.
In January, two apprentices came on an origin trip to Nicaragua to learn about farming and expand their knowledge and passion for coffee. We were incredibly excited to create this opportunity because like everyone at Allegro who has been to origin, we all remember our first origin trip, and how impactful that can be towards a career in coffee.
Right now, in the swirl of chaos, Prodigy has closed their coffee shop to try and keep their staff and customers safe and healthy. Knowing that many of their apprentices are the main income earner in their families, Executive Director, Steph Frances, and her amazing team quickly pivoted and created an opportunity for the apprentices to continue their work through online learning.
Coursework and education has always played a strong role in the apprenticeship program, Steph notes their emphasis on creating a learning environment that works for all kinds of learners. They have applied this perspective to their online learning while the coffee shop is closed. From online barista training to conducting online interviews to learning new technologies and leading meetings with their team, the apprentices are rising to the challenge, supporting each other, and have the incredible opportunity to continue to earn a paycheck. Prodigy was able to raise enough money to support their apprentices for two months, but with an unknown future of what the next two months will bring, they are still raising money. If you’re interested in donating, you can check out their apprentice program and donate here.