How it Started:
In 2019, students from the Winchendon School and Murdock High School collaborated with the goal in mind to identify what Winchendon was lacking and ways they envisioned a more active and desirable place to live. The group of students collectively decided that Winchendon was in desperate need for a space designated for teenagers. With this, the idea of creating a Youth Cafe came into fruition. In 2020, when Covid-19 took over, the immediate plans to move forward with the project was put on hold until a new group of student leaders from Murdock High School and the Winchendon School (The Youth Changemaker Leaders) took over the project. With a push cart and supplies donated from The Winchendon School, our YCM Leaders sprung into action. Pushing our cart all across Winchendon, our goal was to attend as many community events as we could. The Mobile Cafe was seen at Community Park events, Concerts In The Park, football games, Fall Fest, and so on. Our goal was to eventually generate enough funds to be able to become a sustainable business! In doing so, we also applied for grants such as United Way Youth Venture, in order to get funding to purchase a speaker, as well as tables and chairs for customers to sit at when we were at events. With the help of our wonderful community residents that contributed buy purchasing coffee we were able keep the Mobile Cafe going! Now, we have had the privilege of working out of the Winchendon CAC Farm stand a few days a week to sell iced coffees and cold drinks to Winchendon residents! Eventually, we want to be able to have our own physical building in town where Winchendon residents can come relax and enjoy some coffee!
Our goal is to bring people of the community together and ultimately create the Winchendon that future generations will want to live in!
Our New Name:
With the great strides we are making as a project, we are rebranding our business. From now on, we will be known as The Youth Changemakers “Sunshine Café.” We chose this name because we hope the café radiates positivity, joy, hope, community and growth for all! We are so excited to embark on this journey and continue to make progress towards a space for residents that makes them proud to say the are from Winchendon.