As chair of Can Do!’s Youth Pillar, BJ Behnke is constantly looking for ways to connect with local youth. Last year, Behnke started a Coffee with the Community series that connected Charlotte High School students with local business leaders in a casual setting at Fay’s Evelyn Bay.

Encouraged with the results, the Youth Pillar has again teamed with Charlotte High School and Fay’s Evelyn Bay to bring Coffee with the Community back for the entire 2014-15 school year.

“This series is about connecting youth with the community,” Behnke said.

He said the connections made last year helped in a couple different ways. First, students were connected with downtown businesses and business owners. He said the personal connections also allowed business owners to get a glimpse of the quality students at Charlotte High School.

“Continuing to make those connections helps to bridge those generational gaps,” Behnke said.

The first event takes place Thursday, Sept. 18 at approximately 10 a.m. at Fay’s. Lindsay Potter, owner of the Yarn Garden will share her experiences as small business owner, talking about the joys and challenges of owning a small business.

Potter purchased the Yarn Garden in 2007 from Kim Tarkko after graduating from Olivet College in 2006 and serving as an intern for Tarrko in 2005. Her passion for knitting, however started as a 16-year-old student at Olivet High School.

She said she likes to share her passion for knitting and inspire local youth and other community members to get involved in knitting as well. She offers several different knitting classes throughout the year as well as a regular knitting group that meets Wednesdays at Fay’s.

She said she loves those “light bulb” moments when people really catch on to knitting during one of her classes.

“Fifty percent of what I do usually involves teaching people,” Potter said.

Coffee with the Community will be held the third Thursday of each month at Fay’s Evelyn Bay throughout the entire school year. Community members are encouraged to attend and join in the conversation. A representative from Crandall Bros. Trucking is on the schedule for October.