Joyristas Behind the Scenes

One of the main goals of Java Joy has always been to provide job training for adults with disabilities in the hope that they can transfer these skills into their lives outside of Java Joy. Since this is the last week of voting for the Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards, we wanted to sit down with some Joyristas to see what Java Joy means to them!

Three founding Joyristas Nicky, Megan and Colin share how what they do as Joyristas has helped them in their lives outside of Java Joy. 


Nicky started working at Java Joy in 2016, in its very first year! Three years later, and Nicky still loves working alongside his friends and spreading joy into the community. 

“I love Java Joy because I love making people happy when they are getting their coffee,” Nicky said.

One of Nicky’s favorite Java Joy memories is when the Joyristas were at a booking when they ran out of coffee, so they had to brew some in the trailer.

“I was yelling, ‘Batter up!’” Nicky said. “Gotta get that coffee done quick.”

When he is not at Java Joy, Nicky says he likes sleeping, getting his hair done and hanging out with his friends. 

Nicky is a people person who brings joy and energy to any room he walks into (except for when he falls asleep on the ESP couch after a booking). It takes a lot of sleep to bring this much joy to people all the time. 

This year, Nicky started his part-time job working with Wild Moon Studio in Athens! He says he greets people and offers them drinks, as well as helps out with some cleaning and prepping foils for hair coloring. Nicky has a lot of responsibilities, but he definitely has a favorite one. 

“I love to get lunch for the ladies and me,” Nicky said. 


Megan is another one of Java Joy’s founding joyristas! She can quickly brighten your day with a smile and a delicious cup of coffee. Megan’s favorite part about Java Joy is that she can be with good people and friends while she works. 

“I love it because I spread joy to different people,” Megan said. “I give them hugs and bring joy and love into their lives!”

She says her favorite Java Joy memory is any memory she makes working with her friends. 

Megan says she has learned so much that she even started her own baking business called Meg’s Mess which officially launched in 2018.

Megan loves to bake lemon bars and cookies! Her favorite cookies are peanut butter, chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. The next baking challenge? A cookie cake. 

“I’ve never made one before,” Megan said. “It looks hard, but I want to try.”

Megan is a self-taught baker, but she says she couldn’t have done it without the help of Laura Graben, Java Joy and Corporate Partner Coordinator. Laura helps her with paperwork and even baking sometimes! 

“I just want to thank Laura Graben a lot. She helps me so much,” Megan said. “One time we made a red velvet cake.”

If you want Megan to bake you some delicious treats for your next event, you can get in contact with her at!


The other day, Colin walked into the ESP office before an event and said, “I’m getting ready to work the best job ever with the best people ever!”

Colin has been with Java Joy since 2016 and has plenty of stories to tell! One of Colin’s favorite Java Joy memories was making more than 500 muffins for National Muffin Day, but he has a lot of funny stories too! 

Colin says he remembers a time when ESP Program Director Jake Sapp ran out of gas coming back from a booking in Atlanta.

“Right before we left, I said to Jake, ‘Jake did you fill it up?’ Jake said ‘I filled it up last night. We’re good,’ Colin said. “When Jake says we’re good, don’t believe him.” 

Outside of his time being a Joyrista, Colin likes to watch TV, exercise, color and cook. 

Colin’s dream is to be able to go to college at Warm Springs. He’s planning on taking a tour of the campus soon!

He says that Java Joy has helped him figure out what he likes to do and how to talk to all of the new people he meets. Being a Joyrista has helped him figure out that he loves food and would like to study something related to cooking in college! 

“People say to follow your dreams, and I think that’s true,” Colin said. “I’m going to follow my dream!”

Want to help Nicky, Megan, Colin and the rest of our Joyrista team win $75,000 to allow Java Joy to continue growing? This is our last week to vote Java Joy for the Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards! Voting ends on September 30, so make sure to #VoteJoy as many times as possible before then! 

Brittney Butler
About The Author

Brittney Butler

Brittney Butler graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in Journalism and Women's Studies as well as a certificate in Sports Media.

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