Every Thursday in November, we’re profiling a young, amazing changemaker we’re seriously thankful for. For our first inaugural Thankful Thursday, we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Miccolis.
When you pick up that pumpkin spice latte on the way to work, do you ever wish your coffee could help you change your community for the better? If Lisa Miccolis, 29, has her way, that daydream will one day become reality.
A few years ago, Miccolis spent some time in South Africa. There, she met a 16-year-old boy from Zimbabwe who had aged out of his country’s foster care-like system. Listening to his struggles opened Miccolis’ eyes to the “difficulties that many youth around the world face.”
In Philadelphia, about 1,100 youths age out of foster care each year. With no support system, statistics show that 1 in 4 former foster youth will “end up incarcerated” and 1 in 3 will “go on to live in poverty.”
Because the social entrepreneur has plenty of experience working in cafes, she figured coffee would be a great place to start. People go to coffee shops for many reasons, but one thing remains the same for Miccolis: the sense of being “exposed to the great community that exists in and around cafes.”
+ Watch the campaign video for The Monkey & the Elephant.
Her dream, which she’s trying to fund through a Rally.org campaign, is to open a permanent location for The Monkey & the Elephant cafe that will employ former foster youth. The cafe is named after her Zimbabwe buddy — his favorite animal is the elephant and hers is a monkey.
GUYS, we need to help make this coffee shop happen! Lisa said that when youth leave the system they are “lacking a support system at a time in their life when they need it most.” She wants the coffee shop community to be that support system. According to Miccolis, the cafe will “smooth the transition youth make from foster care to independence by providing workforce training, mentorship and connections to support service agencies.”
Photo: Lisa’s manthra: Buy a coffee, change a life. (The Monkey and The Elephant)
Although we’re more than thankful for Miccolis, she has some love to share as well. She’s thankful for “the youth who have inspired and continue to inspire” her to do what she’s doing. She also expressed her gratitude for her support system, saying that it will “truly take a community to build The Monkey & the Elephant.”
If you want to help Miccolis change lives, you can donate to her campaign here. If you don’t have the funds right now, spreading the word is just as important — Tweet out her Rally page or like The Monkey & the Elephant on Facebook! If you’re in the Philly area and have a skill that might be useful, just contact Miccolis through her Rally page too.
Let’s make Lisa’s life-changing coffee shop come true by taking action below!
The Monkey & The Elephant
Help Lisa make her dream a reality. Find out more how you can help her open a permanent location for The Monkey & The Elephant cafe.
Like The Monkey & The Elephant
Don't have money to donate to Lisa's dream cafe? Support her vision by liking The Monkey & The Elephant on Facebook!