Like so many of Isaac Rochell's most fulfilling life events-be it becoming high school class president or even ending up a student-athlete at Notre Dame-his recent trip to Seattle for a two-week crash course in "java-penuership" happened much by chance.
Craving more knowledge on how to someday operate his own not-for-profit business, the Notre Dame defensive lineman weighed his internship opportunities the old-fashioned way, via a Google search.
The options were many, but one in particular stood out because it provided Rochell both a chance to help himself and others at the same time-from the grounds up.
Street Bean Coffee is a nonprofit coffee house that helps homeless young people by giving them a chance at some on-the-job training, a paycheck and therefore hope for a robust future.
For every bag of Street Bean coffee sold, the business is able to fund an hour of job training for a young person trapped on the dead-end Seattle streets.
So armed with the blessing of his family, the approval of Street Bean's executive director and a little assistance from the Notre Dame internship fund, this 290-pound Irish roughneck set off in May to study Seattle's coffee business and street life as the biggest barista America's caffeine capital has ever seen.
"I learned a lot about homelessness and struggles," Rochell said. "I met people who have been homeless since they were 12 years old. And, obviously, they didn't make a decision to be homeless at 12 years old."
Because Rochell majors in political science and not business, this internship was important because it provided him a chance to study how to manage all the moving parts of a not-for-profit operation, a career path he someday hopes to follow after football.
Be it creating marketing manuals, filing paperwork for the proper permits, helping to screen potential job candidates or mixing cappuccinos behind the coffee counter, Rochell did it all.
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