New Oklahoma City shaved ice shop helps low-income teens go to college

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Behind the shipping container walls on the southwest corner of 16th and Blackwelder is a business that is helping teens in low-income families save money for college.

Sasquatch Shaved Ice opened up last week in the Plaza District. Their mission is to help at-risk youth and help them build a brighter future while serving you an ice cold treat.

"I like that we have 100 flavors. I think that's amazing because I'm never going to get tired of snow cones. I'm living my childhood dream for sure," said Carolina Garcia, an employee at Sasquatch Shaved Ice.

And Garcia is also looking to fulfill her future dreams.

"I wanted a job because I needed money for college, seeing my parents couldn't pay for it and so I thought this was an amazing opportunity," Garcia said.

And it is for any teen; especially for all six employees who work there. They live in the Classen Ten-Penn neighborhood where many are scraping by.

"All of our teens will be first generation college students which is really exciting and four of the six will be first generation high school graduates which is really incredible,” Whitley O’Connor, founder of Sasquatch Shaved Ice, said.

This shaved ice shop also gives them a bank account to save their money. All of the money they save at this job will be matched dollar for dollar.

They also attend financial literacy classes every month put on by Oklahoma Employees Credit Union.

"Teaching the kids about financial responsibility and how to save and spend responsibly especially as they take this next step in life where a lot of kids do incur debt," O’Connor said.

For Garcia, being the first in her family to go to college is her destiny.

"I feel like it's time for a change. I mean everybody else is always working really hard and not getting enough money, and I just want to make my parents proud," Garcia said.

Sasquatch Shaved Ice opens at noon. It’s located on the corner of N.W. 16th and Blackwelder.

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