How is Starbucks giving baristas the perfect way to avoid student debt? Free tuition.
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Starbucks SCAP

Ah, yes. COFFEE.

GIF via Starbucks.

We love it. No doubt many of us rely on it. And in one year, well, we've collectively spent around $40 billion on it. (Yes. BILLION.)


Now, thanks to an initiative from Starbucks, some of that money is going to a pretty awesome cause. Check it out:

Student loan debt is now nearly double the size of credit card debt. This program aims to address that crisis.

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, May 15, 2017

Through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan (SCAP), eligible baristas get full tuition coverage for every year of college to earn their bachelor's degree.

That's right. FREE TUITION. I mean, how awesome is that?

To put that into perspective, the average college graduate in 2016 finished with over $37,000 in debt. In fact, estimates indicate that student loan debt as a whole for the U.S. has reached a whopping $1.31 trillion.

The program started in 2014, when Starbucks partnered with Arizona State University to offer their online college to dedicated baristas across the country. Whether they want to pursue business, filmmaking, or even dance instruction, Starbucks arms them with all the tools they need to succeed.

All images via Starbucks.

For Starbucks employees who have been looking to finish their education, this is game-changing.

"When the program first came out," explains Bryanna, an SCAP student, "I was intrigued by the fact that, you know, you could get your degree for free and you only have to work part time. It just seemed too good to be true."

"There's financial aid, but financial aid only goes so far," adds Genzel, a fellow SCAP student.

In addition to having their tuition covered, baristas receive support from a team of coaches and advisers and 24/7 tutoring on all sorts of subjects. They can also choose from over 60 undergraduate degrees.

On top of that, baristas who have served in the military have the option to extend their SCAP benefits to a family member of their choice.

When companies find ways to support the people who make them great, it's a win-win for everyone.

"Three years ago, I wasn't where I am now. And that's because of Starbucks." says Bryanna. "I have the opportunity just to go and film on the weekends, go to school, and work at the same time."

"It's a gift, honestly."

Today, that same gift is being given to over 7,000 partners currently enrolled in SCAP. And Starbucks is committed to graduating 25,000 by 2025.

A whole new crop of talented individuals are taking their first steps toward a brighter future. And all you need to do to help them out is something you're probably doing right now: drink coffee from Starbucks.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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I remember being baffled that so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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