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18 Plus Program students at Copperas Cove High School getting crafty to make some money

Posted at 5:21 PM, Mar 25, 2024

COPPERAS COVE, Texas — For most people, finding a job and making money is a regular part of life, but some students at Copperas Cove High School have hurdles to overcome that others don’t.

”This is an 18 Plus program for students with an Individualized Education Plan,” said Rachel Jost, Vocational Adjustment Coordinator, Copperas Cove High School.

“It's for 18-22 and they work on works-based learning skills and independent living skills.”

Joel Ortega and his fellow students in the 18 Plus Program are getting crafty to make some money.

Making everything from candy jars, bracelets, pens, and even pencils — All under $5 through the Move On Up store.

25 News sat with Joel as he made some hand-crafted pens.

”I put the patterns in the right order,” Ortega said.

“First, it’s blue, yellow, white, then blue.”

Joel also sells some of his original paintings, but everything else is a group effort.

How do they sell them?

”So, a lot of it is custom ordered,” Rachel Jost said.

"A lot of the schools will reach out to me and say, 'Can we get this?' — and we’ll have it made for them.”

They also fill orders for organizations like Texas Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, keeping Joel and the others pretty busy.

25 News asked Joel how he feels about the store now that it is up and running.

”Excellent,” he said..

The Move On Up store is helping to set these students up for a successful future.