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Clarksville High School hosting local leaders for ‘coffee chats’ with students

By Addie Meiners

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    CLARKSVILLE, Indiana (WLKY) — Clarksville High School just opened up a brand-new, student-run coffee shop. While school officials hope it will teach students important lessons about running a business, it’ll also serve as the backdrop for other important lessons learned.

The school plans to host weekly “Coffee Chats,” where local leaders, business owners, health care workers, politicians, judges, law enforcement, and more can come and have an informal discussion with students.

“I think it gives the kids an opportunity to learn more, be comfortable asking questions, and plus they get some coffee and a pastry if they want,” said Clarksville High School principal Adrienne Goldman.

The first “chat” took place on Thursday. Retired Clark County Judge Dan Moore was the first guest.

“I thought it was invigorating, to tell you the truth. Some of their insights, I thought, were very good,” said Moore. “Bringing somebody with a former judge title would be intimidating, but I think this was very relaxing. We were able to just kind of back and forth, off the shoulder and speak freely.”

Students who attended the chat felt the same way.

“I felt more open to asking questions because if it was like a big group of people, it’s like, I don’t want to speak in front of everyone,” said freshman Zaynub Al-Kazawi.

“It’s better to have it in this setting because you can actually calm down, and you can focus more with less groups. With less people, you can ask more questions without feeling nervous about it,” said sophomore Kaiden Starrett.

Starrett is interested in becoming a law enforcement official. Al-Kazawi is considering a path in criminal justice. Both said they found the chat informative.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to learn about my future pathways and be able to learn what that’s like,” said Starrett.

“I haven’t heard about any other schools in the community getting a former judge or lawyers to come in and talk about the law. I just think that’s cool that I actually get to know from like someone who was there working it,” said Al-Kazawi.

Goldman said the school plans to host three more sessions this school year, focused on criminal justice. Next year, they hope to open the program up to any Clarksville leaders who are interested.

“We’re trying to get some different strands going to hit different student interests and just get our community in here to to talk to our students and kind of show them what’s out there and what’s available to them,” said Goldman.

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