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At the end of the day, it’s just coffee.” Callie says these words of wisdom with a noncommittal shrug. Her job at Starbucks has become an important part of her life, but one major takeaway is the understanding that she can’t let it take over.

“I really like my job,” Callie said. “I love the people that I work with. But at the end of the day I have to remember, I have priorities. I can’t let work overshadow what I’m doing.”

Balancing her time is a matter of accountability. “Being accountable and doing things that advance my future, that’s important to me. School is really important because I want to be a physical therapist. So if I’m off work one day, I’ll do homework and study and work really hard. I get my work schedule three weeks in advance, so I keep it straight.”

As a Rancher, balancing work and school is familiar to Callie. While living at the Boys Ranch, she began working at the on-site clinic almost as soon as she arrived.

“It really did teach me a lot,” she said, “and I liked doing it. I like working. It’s always been fun to me.”

The Work Program at the Youth Ranches is designed to instill a strong work ethic, teach real-world skills, and familiarize boys and girls with the job application process.

When Callie applied to Starbucks, her experience at the Boys Ranch made the whole process less daunting.

However, there are some very clear differences with an on-campus job and a real-world job.

“It was very flexible working at the Ranch. I learned about being accountable for what you do and don’t do and what you fail at. Now I’ve got to actually be responsible and accountable for every little thing I do. It’s a lot different.” The biggest change is how many people Callie interacts with on a daily basis. Customer service is not the easiest aspect of the food industry
to navigate, but Callie has an advantage.

“Working at the Ranch taught me a lot about manners and how to talk to adults. People can be really mean, but you have to remember, it’s just coffee. If someone is going to get mad about coffee, that’s not your problem.”

An attitude like that is helpful during more stressful times. “At peak times and happy hours, you’re getting surrounded by people. That’s when everyone just comes in like a rush.” Callie learned quickly that busy hours are easier to manage when you enjoy what you do. Her favorite station to work at is the coffee bar, where she is responsible for actually creating the orders.

“That kind of stress I can pretty much handle because I just like being able to make stuff and make different combinations. I like seeing what people drink. It’s easy to me.”

Another favorite part of the job is knowing she is not alone. Callie quickly built relationships with other young women she worked with. “I’ve definitely got a lot more friends. They’re really good people and it’s nice to be able to talk to older people.

Some of them help me with my college applications and essays and just getting things together.”

Graduating on time, moving into the Scholarship House, and going to college are Callie’s top priorities. “School is really important. I want to graduate and start my life.” The Scholarship House helps young adults ease into adult life while attending college and working.

“At the Scholarship House, I’m going to have to go to school and I’m going to have to work. It teaches me now when I can actually fail and be able to get back up.” Callie knows that if
things become tough to manage, she has a support system to help her work through those challenges.

“They are for me and they’re this foundation.” Even as a teenager, Callie is ready to face the future with confidence. “The Ranch gave me the skills to do it, so now I have to do what I can with what I’ve learned.”

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