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A Cup of Change: Starbucks Philippines Brews Opportunities for Tondo’s Youth

Discover how Starbucks Philippines' Community Store in Tondo is empowering youth with education and leadership skills, all while serving up your favorite brews.

Starbucks Philippines is no stranger to stirring up more than just your favorite beverages; they’re brewing real change in the community, too. Last September 2023 marked a milestone for the coffee giant as it opened the doors to its first-ever Community Store in Abad Santos, Tondo, Manila. This isn’t just any Starbucks outlet—it’s a beacon of hope and empowerment for the area’s young minds.

Brewing a Brighter Future

In a meaningful partnership with Young Focus and AHA! Learning Center, the Tondo Community Store goes beyond serving coffee; it serves the youth. A slice of every purchase goes directly into scholarships and after-school learning programs for out-of-school youngsters. This initiative shines a light on Starbucks’ commitment to nurturing the community it thrives in, ensuring every sip contributes to a child’s brighter tomorrow.

Education as the Perfect Blend

Starbucks’ Community Store is more than a place for coffee aficionados; it’s a hub for growth and learning. By supporting Young Focus Foundation’s scholarship programs and AHA! Learning Center’s complimentary after-school tutoring, Starbucks is helping mold the future leaders of the Philippines. These programs offer a well-rounded curriculum focusing not just on academic excellence but also on social-emotional development—preparing students for real-world challenges.

Empowering Women, Empowering Communities

In alignment with Women’s Month, the spotlight shines on empowering the women leaders of tomorrow. Starbucks Philippines invited pioneering women from various industries to engage with the youth scholars. These sessions, rich with discussions on mental health, career development, and environmental responsibility, aim to inspire and motivate. It’s about showing these young women that their dreams have no limits, and their gender is not a barrier to success.

Jamie Silva, senior manager for Marketing, Digital Customer Experience & Loyalty at Starbucks Philippines, spoke on the importance of having a clear career vision and the flexibility to navigate diversity. “Prior to joining Starbucks, I explored various industries to broaden my perspective,” Jamie shared. “There is no single prescribed career trajectory. By embracing the transformative power of education and a forward-thinking mindset, no limitations can constrain your journey. Forge your path as a woman empowered to shape her own destiny.” Through her journey, Jamie exemplifies the significance of continuous learning, adaptability, and the pursuit of one’s passions to carve out a fulfilling career path.

Lynn Pinugu is the the co-founder of Mano Amiga Philippines and She Talks Asia who has continued to use her strong voice to advocate for women empowerment and mental wellness. Having a strong background in helping women in different stages of their lives, Lynn is passionate about taking care of one’s mental wellness and shared her experiences as a woman leader in her field. “Being surrounded by like-minded women really helped me in my career and of course, has a positive impact on my mental wellness. In empowering women, it is also important that you yourself are an empowered woman, and this includes finding self-care practices that fit you and your needs,” she shared.

Multi-awarded Filipina filmmaker and director Antoinette Jadaone spoke on the importance of using the platform you are given for good. The films that she produced over the years allow her to tell different stories that the audience may relate to, further reaching various individuals who may be going through the same experiences. “Making films is unique and exciting, but it is also a very powerful position to be in and I make it a point to never forget this. Anyone, even little girls, can have the opportunity to see my films so I know that I have a responsibility that I do not take lightly.” Filmmaking is a male-dominated industry, and she is determined to make her mark in hopes of representing women and inspiring the next generation to do the same.

Anina Rubio is a sought-after visual artist who uses art to spread her personal advocacy for sustainability and environmental conservation. She strongly encourages the youth to do their part in taking care of the planet. “We can all take care of the planet in our own, small ways. A personal example is when I order my favorite Starbucks drink, I make sure to always bring a reusable cup to minimize my usage of plastic. These little acts of service for the planet will go a long way.” Starbucks Philippines is committed to strengthening the communities it serves through Sustainability and care for the planet.

A Toast to the Future

Starbucks Philippines envisions its Community Store as more than a place for coffee; it’s a ground for cultivating dreams and ambitions. Jamie Silva, reflecting on the initiative, emphasized the importance of education in shaping a generation capable of breaking norms and pursuing their passions fearlessly. Starbucks’ dedication to this cause underscores a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of community support and education. “Our Community Store’s dedication to youth education underscores our mission to make a meaningful impact on the next generation within our local communities,” says Jamie Silva. “As we celebrate International Women’s Day and honor our future leaders, it’s crucial to recognize the pivotal role education plays in shaping progressive thinkers and empowering women to break free from societal constraints, allowing them to excel in their endeavors and pursue their passions.”

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Join the Movement

Witness firsthand how your cup of coffee can change lives. For more behind-the-scenes looks at Starbucks Philippines’ community-driven efforts and to stay updated on their upcoming events and initiatives, make sure to visit starbucks.ph/stories and follow them across all social media platforms.

By choosing Starbucks, you’re not just picking a coffee; you’re picking a cause. Together, let’s brew a difference, one cup at a time.

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