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Brewing Life Skills Lessons at Art Smith Aviation Academy

Dylan Roy, a Grade 9 student at Art Smith Aviation Academy, is brewing up life skills lessons for himself, and delicious snacks and beverages for teachers.

Late last year, in collaboration with Educational Assistant Candice Lion, Dylan started his own business: a mobile coffee cart to cater to the caffeine and sugar needs of the staff at ASAA. 

"Dylan and I were brainstorming ways that we could apply the things we were learning at school in a practical manner," Mrs. Lion said. "So the thought of implementing something that heavily involves numeracy, organisational skills, and also life skills—which Dylan doesn't have as a class in Grade 9—was really appealing."

"Mrs. Lion asked me if I wanted to do something fun while learning, and make some money for the school and for myself," said Dylan. "And she asked if I wanted to start a business, and I said I did, so that's what we did."

And so, once every class cycle, Dylan visits classrooms throughout the school with his cart, offering fresh-baked treats, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

"We go to the classrooms and give all the teachers the choices for the day. It's $2 for a snack and a drink, or they can buy a pack of 5 tickets for $10. We take the orders, and then come back with everything."

Not only does Dylan operate the cart and manage the finances, he and Lion also do all of the baking and food preparation. 

"I'm basically Dylan's sous-chef," Lion laughed. "He does the hard work, and I just do what he says."

The team has made brownies, cookies, smoothies and more. But Dylan says that his favourite treat so far has been Grinch Popcorn

"It's popcorn with melted marshmallows in it. It's really good," Dylan explained. 

The funds raised from the coffee cart are split between giving back to the school, ingredients for the cart's baked goods, and personal savings for Dylan. But he has big plans for those savings. 

"At the end of the year, I want to buy lunch for all the Grade 9 graduating class," he said. 

The staff at ASAA are grateful to Dylan and Mrs. Lion for their innovative approach to supporting the school community as a whole, and for the personal touch of hand-delivering every order. Principal Andrea Farrell said, "Dylan brings so much joy to our staff every week with his coffee and treat cart. Not only is he doing us a service and bringing us something delicious, he is also working hard and investing in our school community, and we are so proud of him."

Dylan Roy is the Northern Lights Public Schools Student Shining Star for the month of March. Each month during the 2023-2024 school year, NLPS is featuring different Shining Stars and celebrating their contributions and accomplishments.