Blending caffeine and community: Students brew up their own organization focused on goodness


University of Akron students Sabrina Widmer and Teagan Wamsley share a passion for giving back

University of Akron (UA) students Sabrina Widmer and Teagan Wamsley are childhood friends from Rittman, Ohio and share a passion for giving back. As they navigate their senior years at UA, Widmer, majoring in biomedical science, and Wamsley, majoring in exercise science, wanted to take their shared vision to the next level.

So, they decided to create something meaningful—a student organization that would not only make a difference in the community but also challenge them to grow as leaders.

“We are both looking into graduate schools, and we really wanted a good leadership experience,” said Wamsley. “We figured, what better way than to make our own organization? It forced us to get ourselves out of our comfort zone, and we learned a lot along the way.”

The duo founded Cup of Kindness, a unique club that combines their love for caffeine and coffee (served hot, iced or frozen) with community service.

"We developed the club because we wanted to reach out into the community, do some volunteer work, and we all love caffeine, so we support local coffee shops,” said Widmer.

Their meetings take place at locally owned coffee shops and their volunteer work extends both onto the UA campus and into the community through Compass, a community-minded coffee establishment and a program that is part of The Well CDC in Akron, a community development corporation.

Last year, Cup of Kindness, did a canned food drive on campus, worked with Compass on UA’s community garden, and reciprocated the kindness by helping to paint a wall and build desks for the Compass program.

“We all got together and went to (a coffee shop) in town and had a lot of fun there,” said Wamsley. “We thought, this would be so cool if we could start a club for fellow coffee lovers and people who want to support the community, so that's where the idea started, and it grew from there."

The organization officially launched during the fall 2022 semester, and now they already have a logo and t-shirts that will help them promote their club even more.

“I loved doing activities at my high school,” said Widmer. “I was involved in several different organizations, and I didn't want that to stop just because I was going to college. It would be a really great way to meet new people, people with similar interests and just reach out and connect with the people of UA."

Reflecting on the skills gained through leading the organization, Wamsley emphasized, "It's definitely helped my time management skills and communication and teamwork. My plan is to become a physical therapist, so I'm constantly going to be interacting with people. My people skills have definitely improved through this, which is great."

Widmer, who shares her time with UA’s Pre-Optometry Club, echoed the sentiment — "Being the leaders of this group, it's definitely been helpful. I want to own my own private practice someday as an optometrist, so it definitely helped in that aspect."

University of Akron students Sabrina Widmer and Teagan Wamsley share a passion for giving back

Students Sabrina Widmer (left) and Teagan Wamsley turned their shared passion for giving back into a student organization at UA.

More than their majors

Cup of Kindness not only became a platform for volunteerism but also an avenue for Widmer and Wamsley to feel more than their majors by building relationships through their involvement.

Wamsley, juggling multiple roles as a member of the Exercise Science Club, and the College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Team, as well as a volunteer for Alternative Spring Break and serveAkron, shared, "My life isn't just school inside the classroom with exercise science. It's great to be able to meet other students in other majors and gain a new perspective."

Widmer agreed: "It's helped me to meet people with similar interests. I'm into art, so I've been able to meet people who are into different things and different majors.”

Joining Cup of Kindness can be done through RooConnect, UA’s best connection to campus engagement, or through the organization’s Instagram account: @cupofkindness.

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or