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Cape Central High School students get unique experience at a local boutique

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 6:12 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A group of students from Cape Central High School take part in a unique opportunity every Wednesday, one that will help them after they graduate.

The students from Cape Central’s Special Services Program spend every Wednesday morning working at Wish Boutique in Cape Girardeau.

“Do some jewels. Folding clothes,” said Tyreese Curry.

“I was taking jewelry out of the bags,” said Faith Spears.

“Help with my friends,” said Kaley Clowes.

Tyreese, Faith, Kaley and their classmates help the store owners prepare for shoppers.

“I’m learning to get a job here,” said Faith.

“These students don’t get much of a chance to learn the work skills that others do,” said Cape Central Special Education Teacher, Candice Schnurbush. “They need more than academics. They need the work skills and the social skills to make them amazing citizens of the community, and they are. They really truly are.”

Wish Boutique Co-Owner, Traci Ritter, knows firsthand how valuable this hands-on experience is for the students.

“I have a daughter who has developmental disabilities, and she gained so much experience from working out in the community, as a volunteer even,” said Ritter.

While the help with jewelry makes a difference, it’s the students’ personalities and positive attitudes that shine the brightest.

“They come in and whether we were having a good morning or otherwise, once they’re here, there’s no option. I mean the joy is just infectious, and you realize how thankful people can be just to be able to do a job, and it makes you grateful,” said Ritter.

“Anything we’re able to offer them is so small compared to the tenfold blessings that they give back to us,” said Deena Ring, Wish Boutique’s co-owner.

Ritter and Ring encouraged other business owners to partner with their local school district and invite students to work at their store or restaurant.

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