A Cup of Coffee
sometimes its more than just the caffeine
Hello everyone :)
This is going to be a monthly update that will cover my journey as I help youth around the world stay positive and sharing moments that might inspire you.
Recently, I graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder and had the blessing of meeting ambitious students. I am thankful for the friends and faculty that have been with me through the dark times and investing in me.
I originally tried to be a doctor as Desi parents often convince you to pursue. Awkwardly I failed my freshman year in university it wasn’t my passion. Then like a hungry student hoping to seize the money bag, I chased computer science. When I broke the news to my parents they had a ton of doubts because they knew I sought out a personal connection with my work.
In our intense computer science program, many students had struggled with anxiety, depression, and burnout. Then it hit me that I could make the personal impact that I had always wanted to do in university. This was my aha moment to redeem myself for failures of freshman year and get a nifty article written about being the first C.S. student to do this. I jumped on eBay bought a Bunn AW-15 which in plain English means a ton of coffee. I took my last $300 at the time and bought it for $289.
When it arrived it was broken and did not turn on. I was shattered as I had shared my vision for sharing coffee with people in my fraternity, housemates, and professors. I sat there with my heap of steel with no idea what to do and who to call. Computer Science did not prep me for fixing coffee machines it taught me to depend on it into the late nights of debugging.
I reached out to Jubilee Roasting and told them about my mission and they donated coffee to bless others to share joy, motivation, and warmth. So I solved the coffee shortage but still had the non-functional heap of steel.
I desperately went back on eBay hoping I could convince the person who sold me the brewer to refund it. 2 weeks with no reply things got relatively bleak. Even the landlord of our apartment was complaining about the machine.
Then I got the message that changed everything:
“I’ll do more than fix it Amar. I’ll give you the $289 back and please share with us your journey to help the students”. - Mike, Kansas
Now began the journey for Mike, students, and my article in the school paper. Wake up at 4 am to start the brewing process as I would brew 8L of coffee in the morning prior to the start of the school day. I would walk over to University Hill and stand there with a sign hoping people would take some coffee.
For the first few hours, there was no one and I was pretty discouraged despite all the support I had received. 8:30 am hit then a sudden surge of students a.k.a — a baristas nightmare. I was out of the coffee in fifteen minutes. I couldn’t believe it and stood there in disbelief. So I would go on to continue this for six months and more people began to join the movement.
I’ll never forget this one night we’re standing giving away coffee and a young man had approached us. He asked if he could have some coffee and we poured him the Amar special: two sugar cubes, vanilla cream, and the infamous locals-only roast served with a rice crispy treat. The young man sat with my friend Ryan and began to share that we were the first people to talk to him in two weeks. I stood there in disbelief as he told us that he was going to commit suicide tonight.
He reached into his backpack to pull a rope and some drugs. I had no words but just proceeded to love and hug this guy.
A single cup of coffee changed my heart and taught me the value of serving without expectation. I never got the article in the school paper, didn’t win over a community with my coffee antics and wasn’t known for being the coffee servant.
But what I do know is someone is out there smiling once again. Today that young man is pursuing music.