“This is not a business to earn money,” says Vicky Smith, the center’s executive director. “This is a teaching model.”
As part of its social service mission, the King Street Center in Burlington oversees the operation of a lemonade stand in summer on the Church Street Marketplace. Though its appearance is casual, the stand serves a serious purpose as an introduction to the world of work for young people, especially many recently arrived refugees, who absorb its training and skillsets as they embark on their pursuit of the American dream.
Raised in a Kenyan refugee camp, Lule Aden arrived in the United States with her Somali Bantu family when she was 8 years old, unable to speak English. She began coming to the King Street Center in seventh grade, made her way into the Job Club, and, eventually, into the stand’s management ranks.