Carmen, shift supervisor, Texas

Bachelor’s degree in educational studies

Ever since she was 5 years old, Carmen dreamed of being a teacher. “But as you know,” she said, “life has a way of taking you on alternative paths, and I needed a way back to what I had always wanted to do.” With a young child of her own, she became even more determined to pursue her passion. So, she decided to apply to Starbucks, a company whose mission and values called to her. Growing up in the South and identifying as pansexual, Carmen knew she wanted to work in a place that was truly inclusive and where everyone was valued and respected for who they are.  

Carmen will be graduating this May with a bachelor’s degree in educational studies. She’s already been accepted to the teacher certification program for the state of Texas, where she’ll be starting classes as soon as she graduates from ASU. She wants to teach first or second grade.  

“My heart is with the little ones,” she says. “Being pansexual myself, it really made sense for me to be the kind of teacher that I needed as a young girl … someone who would make education equal for everybody and make the classroom a safe space to really … celebrate who you are.” 

Just like Carmen‘s leaders have supported her SCAP journey, Carmen has appreciated the opportunities she’s had to develop as a leader at work, skills that she recognizes are readily transferable to teaching. 

Often referred to as the “store mom,” she’s become a vocal advocate for SCAP, inspiring fellow partners to pursue their own education. “I feel like I really kind of lit the fire that this is possible.” 

“I tried to guide my entire journey with Starbucks to … help others find success and help others realize what their paths are, what are they good at, and help them find direction for their life.” 

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New, more sustainable Starbucks cold cups are made with up to 20 percent less plastic