In March 2020, when Eitan Ehrlich ‘25 was a senior in high school in Hartford, CT, he decided to take a gap year. Not entirely sure how he was going to spend the year, he ended up buying a school bus that June and took the summer to retrofit it and make it his own. The result? A Kafė Büs—a marine blue, solar-paneled coffee-shop-on-wheels.
While the pandemic was raging that fall, Ehrlich and his Kafė Büs could be seen at outdoor events in his community, serving up hot chocolate, espresso, and tea. (The barista skills he honed at his job at a local coffee shop came in handy.) Then, in Summer 2021, he took the Kafė Büs on the road for over two months—traveling from Hartford to Cleveland and back—before beginning at Emerson that fall. “When I got to [Emerson], having the skill set and the ability to think on your feet turned out to be very useful,” Ehrlich said. “I don’t think my experience at this school would be the same had I not done the gap year.”