Starbucks Field Trip with Dimmitt Middle School

On February 29, 2024, 25 IGNITE Students from Dimmitt Middle School embarked on a journey to the heart of coffee culture at Starbucks Headquarters in Seattle, WA! The IGNITE Field Trip Event included a tour of the Starbucks facility and an insightful panel discussion.

The day kicked off with a warm welcome in Starbucks’ lobby, where the company’s commitment to sustainability and innovation was prominently on display. Students were immersed in Starbucks’ history, surrounded by verdant greenery and a mural depicting the company’s Costa Rican coffee farm. After the introduction, students divided into groups for a tour guided by Starbucks volunteers—called Partners, as everyone working at Starbucks is considered a valuable partner in operations. The tour gave a firsthand look into the intricacies of coffee roasting, quality assurance at the Cupping Room, and the creative hub of the testing lab, where new brews are born!

Amidst the smell of freshly brewed coffee, students explored various departments, from the building gym to the creative spaces adorned with artwork, including a veterans’ wall symbolizing Starbucks’ dedication to hiring veterans and military spouses. The tour culminated in a visit to the Reserve Store, offering exclusive souvenirs and coffee blends.

After the morning of discovery, students gathered for a nacho bar lunch followed by a panel discussion, facilitated by Nancy Benter, a retail implementation strategy leader. Francesca Peri, Vice President of Operations Implementation kicked off the panel with her personal story, and was then joined by Sr. Administrative Assistant Rachel Chung, Program Manager Cat Grimm Lauper, and Graphic Designer Bara’ah Jaraiseh.

The panel discussion provided students with candid narratives, relatable anecdotes, and valuable life lessons. From navigating the uncertainties of middle school to pursuing one’s passions and finding unexpected career opportunities, the panel fostered a sense of empowerment and possibility among students.

Students also had the opportunity to ask questions, gaining invaluable insights into the corporate world and the journey to success at Starbucks. The Panelists emphasized the importance of resilience and the pursuit of meaningful work, inspiring students to embrace their unique talents and aspirations.

This was an incredible look behind the scenes of one of Seattle’s most iconic companies, plus insight into unique and exciting careers. A huge thank you to all the volunteers who came together to make this event possible! Special thanks to Nancy Benter for playing so many important roles as Company Contact, Tour Guide, and Panel Facilitator. Thank you to tour guides Joanna Przybylski, Samady Medina, and Teresa Rodman; Panelists Francesca Peri, Rachel Chung, Cat Grimm Lauper, and Bara’ah Jaraiseh, and Melissa Urquhart, Monica Wolfe, Lubia Urdaneta, Mel Chairez, Cora Chairez-Carter, Ben Jones and Kaitlyn James for additional support. Additionally, our heartfelt appreciation goes out to Educator Vivi Lach for providing this opportunity to students.

After attending this event:


of students are interested in STEM

Take STEM Class


of students know more about STEM career choices and the benefits of working in a STEM field

Ask Teacher about Additional STEM Activities


of students feel more confident in pursuing STEM


of students gained perspective and feel more hopeful about the future

Here’s what the students thought of the event:

I got to relate to those older than me, and that’s something I don’t experience every day. Hearing the panelists talk about events in their life, it made me feel much more motivated! I loved learning about the coffee bean process because I never thought I would get to know this.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

Today showed me that I could do anything with help and inspiration. My favorite thing was learning about the culture at Starbucks.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

I really liked how the creativity was throughout the building. I think my favorite thing I learned today was how Starbucks was first founded and how it was built.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

Today showed me that there are people like me in the STEM field. My favorite thing was seeing all the artwork around the building.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

This event was fun and interesting. I learned that it takes over 6,000 miles to get the coffee to us.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

Today’s events inspired me to go into STEM and to explore more about what I am already good at and see how it could be used for the future. My favorite thing I learned today is learning more about the aspects of Starbucks that I never knew before coming into the headquarters. Thanks.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

This event inspired me because I saw how STEM is more than just specific jobs. This experience also helped me see that there’s meaning behind artwork and it’s not just a piece of art to look good. My favorite thing that I learned today was the evolution of how Starbucks slowly became more and more successful. I also liked seeing the development of the coffee machines.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

“Before today, I didn’t know much about STEM. I learned many things, and it was cool seeing the walls.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

This event was really fun, and I want to explore more about working at Starbucks or in STEM. I would also like to explore the careers Starbucks offers to its workers. I learned about the benefits the company gives to their employees or partners.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

I now feel like STEM is a future career path that I can take. I liked it when we looked at the art.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

“Today inspired me to think about working at Starbucks, and it motivated me to keep trying. My favorite thing I learned/saw was the pop culture wall and the different logos over the years.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

Today’s event inspired me by learning about many things, like how coffee is made. My favorite thing about today is learning a lot about Starbucks and where it came from.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

This event made me realize that I don’t have to know what I want to do right now in my life, and to also not overthink a lot of stuff. I learned about the old sign and how it looked, also about coffee.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

It was good to get to know more about STEM and got to know more about the panelists. Everything about the Starbucks headquarters just made more sense about what they do here.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

Today’s event inspired me by allowing me see all the cool stuff I can do in the future if I just follow my dreams! Even if it’s a really hard time, if I just follow my dreams, I know I’ll be able to be successful in whatever I do. My favorite thing that I learned was everything since everything was new and exciting to me.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

Today’s event inspired me by showing me that it’s okay to not know what you want to do when you’re older. I love drawing on both traditional and digital things (I mostly do traditional/paper drawings), and I was thinking of becoming an artist (because of what people tell me) but I don’t know if that’s actually what I want to do. From the volunteers, I liked how they all shared their stories from their pasts and what they did when they were younger. In high school, I’m thinking of taking a photography class because I love pictures of astrology and astronomy things.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

This event inspired me to not give up.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

I’m glad we got to ask questions and take in others’ point of view on tech careers. The person showing us around was very interested in us, and I appreciated that.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me to not be hard on myself, to keep believing in myself, and to get a job at Starbucks. My favorite thing was learning what countries the coffee came from.” – 7th Grade IGNITE Student

This inspired me to be a kid while I can but also know a lot of careers I can do and take. I learned how Starbucks became what it is today, how they work, what they do here, and how they help people and students.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

Today made me think about other things I can do and it made me more comfortable. My favorite thing was when I learned about the coffee beans.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

“This event was great, and I love all the art and stuff they showed us today. I want to come back, and I am so thankful.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

I liked learning the history of Starbucks and all types of coffee around the world.” – 7th Grade IGNITE Student

This experience can help me with job opportunities. I can also say there are jobs in Starbucks that don’t require serving coffee and food. It was interesting that you get stock for every year you work at Starbucks. That’s some nice money.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me by showing us how Starbucks started and how we can start our own. My favorite thing was the logos from many decades and the amazing food!” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

About Starbucks:

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 38,000 stores worldwide, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world.

About IGNITE Program Field Trip Events:

IGNITE Field Trips offer a memorable, behind-the-scenes look at STEM in action and the wide range of career opportunities at the host company. Company employees interact directly with the students through an office tour, hands-on STEM activities, and IGNITE Panel and Q&A discussion.

About IGNITE Worldwide:

IGNITE Worldwide is a 501(c)3 nonprofit STEM education organization that aims to change gender and racial equity in STEM permanently and systematically. We work directly with teachers during the school day to provide programming that promotes gender equity and representation in STEM academics and careers. Through our award-winning program, IGNITE provides engaging, hands-on events that connect students with STEM professionals from industry leaders from around the world. Learn more at

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