One of a Few in America: A Teen-Run Restaurant

A group of local teens is breathing new life into a deserted building in Amarillo.

The Joint Alliance for Students is opening a teen club and cafe in the old Desperados Restaurant at 15th and Madison. JAS members are hoping the cafe will provide a drug-free safe haven for other area teens.

The cafe is set to open on June 27th. It will be open to the general public, but will be run almost entirely by teenagers.

Stan Scofield lost his son to an accidental drug overdose three years ago. "My son was an honors student. He was athletic. He was the last one you'd think anything like this could have happened to. But it just goes to show you not even the strongest of our kids are safe as long as this poison is on our street."

In hopes of preventing otherparents from experiencing the same tragic loss of a child, Stan is opening the club/cafe, a place he says will encourage kids to stand strong against negative peer pressure and to realize their full potential.

"We want these kids to have dreams. Whatever their dreams may be. If they don't have any, we want to give them some." Dreams that could include becoming an entrepreneur, something adult leaders hope will be fueled by the restaurant.

Stormy Mazzella is the Program Coordinator for Teens in Action Campfire USA. She says, "If you can plant a seed in any child at anytime I think it's so important."

Proceeds from the restaurant will go towards drug abuse education; including learning from the mistakes of teens like Stan's son.

As of now there are about 80 kids involved in JAS. All of them will play an active role in both the restaurant and drug education activities in the community.