Floyd T Binns Middle School Career cafe series Two Sisters Coffee picture of school counselors standing with owner of Two Sisters in school library with tv screen behind them

In a bid to inspire and guide middle school students towards future career paths, the counseling department at Floyd T Binns Middle School has initiated a Career Café series. The first session, which took place on January 30, 2024, set an exciting tone for the monthly event that aims to bring professionals from various fields to share their insights with students during lunch in the school library.

The first session focused on hospitality and entrepreneurship, and the event welcomed a special guest speaker, Lexi Bates, the owner of the highly successful local coffee truck, Two Sisters Coffee Co. Bates engaged with students on every grade level during their lunch, shedding light on the intricacies of starting a business, the challenges faced, and the gratifying rewards that come with perseverance and determination.  One 7th grade student, Jon Sweeney, claimed that he and his family are the local business’s best customers!  During the session, Sweeney shared his favorite drink and was also able to tell the group where to find Two Sisters, either at the Ole Country Store or the Culpeper Sports Complex.

Students were captivated by Bates' entrepreneurial journey, which provided a real-world perspective on the highs and lows of establishing and running a business. The interactive session allowed students to ask questions and gain valuable insights into the dynamic world of hospitality and entrepreneurship. Students asked questions about location and marketing.  Bates explained how Two Sisters uses social media to market their business and connect with customers. “Social media is a benefit to small businesses, it’s a free tool, and it’s such a vital part of the business world today,” she said. 

Additional questions included one student asking why they only offer one size in their coffees. “One size helps us to be efficient,” Bates responded, “every drink is built from a double shot of espresso, and if the base is always the same, we can prepare orders more quickly and customers do not have to wait as long.”  

The Career Café series aims to expose students to a wide range of career options, and upcoming sessions promise to be equally engaging. “We are so lucky to have a pool of talented and experienced local professionals who are willing to donate their time to our students.” stated Cristin Myers, school counselor. Future guest speakers will include professionals from law enforcement, offering students a glimpse into the world of public service and community safety. A pediatric nurse will give insight into the medical field. Additionally, cosmetology experts will share their experiences, providing students with an understanding of the thriving beauty and wellness industry.

The initiative is part of the school's broader effort to foster career exploration and preparedness among students, ensuring they are well-informed and inspired as they embark on their educational and professional journeys. The counseling department is excited about the positive impact the Career Café series will have on shaping the aspirations and goals of Floyd T Binns Middle School students.