Two Pasadena businesses are joining forces to host a special event for foster youth on Sunday, Sept. 17.
Organized by Joseph Rene Estilo Salon and Rosebud Coffee, the event is part of the “Coffee for a Cause” series that Rosebud Coffee’s founder started years ago in Pasadena. Sunday’s event will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. at the salon’s location, 537 S. Lake Ave. #1 in Pasadena.
During the event, attendees can give both cash and in-kind donations, preferably care packages that foster youth can make use of or will go towards helping with their education, housing, and other resources.
The organizers said the event is designed to offer a fun and supportive experience for foster youth aged 14 to 22, who often face challenges as they transition into adulthood. They hope that the event will raise awareness about the needs of foster youth and inspire the community to get involved.
Joseph Rene, who owns Estilo Salon at 2237 E Colorado Blvd. B-102, says he connects with underprivileged youth, having experienced being independent at a young age. He saw how the owners of Rosebud Coffee were going out of their way to employ foster care youth or take them in as volunteers so they can be employed later, and decided to present the concept of a Coffee for a Cause event to them.
“I went to a trade school. I did not go to a typical four year university. I am obviously a productive, positive person in the community,” Rene said. “So I would hope that they could look at that, take that as an inspiration for themselves and realize that they too can be in a similar or a better position that I was, that they can come in and hone in on skills with me leading them to a trade school if they’re interested in making something.”
Attendees will be treated to free coffee, pastries, and other activities, such as a classic car photo opportunity, salon giveaways, musical entertainment, and more, while some of the youth attending will get free haircuts.
“It’s different collaborations of beauty, art, music, food coming together,” Rene said. “There’s going to be something for everybody there to appreciate. I think it’s a different mix of different communities coming together and saying, ‘hey, we’re here. We support this. We appreciate this.’”
Joseph Rene Estilo Salon is a full-service salon that offers hair, makeup, and skincare services. The owner has been in the beauty industry for over 20 years. He explains how providing youth a free haircut and gender-neutral stylings can help boost their confidence, while hoping some of the kids would see a new career opportunity.
“We wanted to offer that to them to build their confidence and to also to show them that there is another career path available to them that’s affordable with different grants,” Rene said. “There are some community colleges and trade schools that are offering programs in aesthetics, cosmetology, barbering, nails, makeup, esthetician, at a fraction of the cost that they may not even be aware that’s available to them.”
Rosebud Coffee is a social enterprise that employs and empowers young adults who have experienced homelessness or foster care. The founder, Dan Davidson, is a Senior Pastor at Rose City Church in Pasadena whose parents were foster parents. Davidson started Rosebud Coffee from an old coffee cart he found on church property. From there, he began training homeless youth to get jobs in the growing gourmet coffee industry.
Today, Rosebud Coffee, now a full-service coffee shop, continues to provide training, mentoring, and job opportunities for its staff, while serving high-quality coffee and pastries.
With Coffee for a Cause, Joseph Rene said they hope to make a positive impact on the community and to encourage more Pasadenans to make a difference.
“People that are making donations – it could be a bag of food, it could be toiletries, it could be socks, it could be whatever it is – when they come in and they have their services and we have the event, we hope that they leave with something tangible besides inspiration,” Rene said. “Besides the wisdom and this career path, we want them to be able to leave with something like that. Not just for one day, but for the long term.”