Jordan is one of Nicole’s sons, is 16 years old and a sophomore at Pope High School. He wanted to work at RISE since it opened. At first, his mom didn’t want the entire family working there, but she soon realized she needed his help during the COVID outbreak and he has proven to be a wonderful asset for the coffee shop. He is excited to get his license very soon and be able to drive himself wherever he needs to go. Jordan is not a coffee drinker, but does love the smell! He likes to play basketball, and play video games with his friends. Jordan is a positive thinker, and puts an optimistic spin on COVID. Without it, he may not have had the opportunity to work at RISE, but his help was needed and he “RISEs” (pun intended) to the occasion. Jordan’s favorite drink is the hot chocolate, and favorite movie is Ford vs Ferrari.
April DeWard is 21 years old and Nicole’s oldest daughter. She presently attends online classes at West Georgia University studying psychology and sociology. April wanted to work at RISE because she is interested in helping people with disabilities, especially since two of her siblings have special needs. She also wants to help children with special needs, are adopted, or are in foster care. April’s favorite drink is espresso. She is very creative and enjoys painting art, hiking, traveling, listening to true crime podcasts, and trying new restaurants. April enjoys getting to know her fellow employees and the customers.
Robbie is 26 years old and attends Blessed Trinity. He loves hiking and reading. His favorite thing to eat at RISE is the bacon wrapped egg and he loves the caramel latte. His favorite pastime is hanging with friends and family. His loves watching The Edge of Tomorrow and a well-listened to song is Good to Me by Audrey Assad.
Rita Tyler has been working at RISE for about 6 months. She enjoys working with the BaRISEtas; their happy, pleasant and kind personalities. Rita enjoys Bekah's Brew with a little cream. She enjoys reading, (mysteries are her favorite) gardening with both plants and vegetables, and going for walks. Rita's favorite movie is Good Will Hunting, and favorite song is The Dance by Garth Brooks.
Alison also works for the Georgia Department of Education doing teacher training. She finds it fun to work in a leadership position and enjoys meeting and helping people. cxxcHiking is her “happy place” where she hikes 5-10 miles a day at Leita Thompson Trails. She also loves baking cheesecakes and making homemade Resee peanut butter balls. Bolder Blue tea is her favorite drink and she loves the movie Somewhere in Time. Alison’s dream job is personal training. She was just certified in September and is excited to help people with their health goals. Allison loves meeting new people at RISE and talking with people. Alison loves working at RISE because of the young adults she works with. “They make my heart full and I have never left here thinking I shouldn’t have come or have ever had a bad day.”
Gavin has worked here since it opened last year in March. He is 17, attends King’s Academy, and is in 11th grade. Gavin enjoys acting in the school drama club and is in an upcoming musical. Aside from school, Gavin likes to go hiking and hang out with his friends. His favorite song is Wauka Wauka by Shakira and his favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption. Gavin’s dream job is to be in the film industry as a director, or he would also like to become a teacher. He appreciates the friendly, patient, caring, family atmosphere here at RISE. The hibiscus cucumber tea is his favorite drink.
Vicki also works as a personal trainer at SHINE. She is 51, enjoys baking cheese cakes and resees peanut butter cups. She also hikes 5-10 miles a day at Leita Thompson trails! Vicki loves the young adults at RISE and has never left a shift without her heart being full. Her favorite drink is bolder blue tea. Crazy by Patsy Cline is her favorite song and her favorite movie is Somewhere in Time. Vicki’s dream job is personal training and was just certified in September. It is never too late to do what you love!
Karen Stephan is also a nurse practitioner and LOVES coffee! She admires Nicole’s decision to hire individuals with disabilities to work at RISE. Her dreams involve moving north. When she retires, she wants to work in a coffee shop, as well as run a bed and breakfast. Karen and her husband have already bought the house, and are just waiting for their two daughters to graduate from college. Once the girls have graduated, off they go! Karen feels that working at RISE is good training for when her dreams come true. She loves how coffee warms up her soul. Karen likes to bake desserts and to watch chick flicks. Her favorite drink is iced coffee with coconut milk; the coconut milk gives it just enough sweetness. Karen’s favorite movie of all time is Sweet Home Alabama. Karen’s favorite song is “God Only Knows” by King and Country.
Lauren wanted to work at RISE because she believes in what RISE is all about, and she
also loves to work with people that have so much to offer. She felt like it was good opportunity
to be apart of it. Lauren loves tea. She loves how RISE offers some specialty teas that aren’t
available anywhere else. She loves how tea brings people together. Lauren likes to snow ski,
paddle board, and she enjoys fitness classes, dancing, and playing the piano. Her favorite drink is Ginger Peach Tea. Lauren’s favorite movie is Finding Nemo, and her favorite song is currently “Brand New Me” by Alicia Keys.
Jaclyn is a junior in high school, and is 16 years old. She was interested in working as a Buddy because she loves working with kids with special needs, and has always been interested in helping others, especially children. One of her big goals is to become an occupational therapist because she feels that she can use her own learning differences to help others to succeed. She hopes to go to either a private or public college. Jaclyn likes how coffee energizes her, especially in the morning. As far as hobbies, she has been figure skating since she was 3 years old. She also helps with special needs hockey. Figure skating and working with individuals with disabilities are her two hobbies.
Jaclyn enjoys her job because she sees a lot of examples of people appreciating those with special needs. Jaclyn’s favorite drink is frozen hot chocolate. Her favorite movie is The Breakfast Club, with Her favorite song is “Come Together” by The Beatles.
Emily Kay goes to Lassiter High School and is currently 16 years old. She was interested in working at RISE because she loves the community. When Nicole asked her if she wanted to work there, Emily said “Absolutely!”. Emily is more of a tea person and her favorite drink at RISE is Ginger Peach Tea. She wants to go to college and major in something involving music. She especially likes classical music featuring violins and cellos. Emily also enjoys the technical side of the study of music. Emily likes to play a lot of instruments and read outside of work. The Imitation Game is Emily’s favorite movie. She also likes historical type movies and success stories. Emily couldn’t pick one favorite song because she loves all music.
Anna is 34 years old and loves partnering with the baRisetas; just whatever they are going to do-doing it together. She learned about RISE from Nicole at a Tres Dias weekend. Anna's go-to drink at RISE is any kind of cappuccino and the chocolate doughnuts are at the top of her list for munching! For fun, Anna spends time with her dog, Dottie, a boxer mix, and loves to travel. She also is a new home owner and loves being outside doing yard work. Anna's favorite movie is The Sound of Music; a lover of Julie Andrews. Anna actually got to go to a question and answer time to see Julie Andrews in person last year, similar to a book tour. Being a music person, Anna has a hard time choosing her favorite song, but Keep It Simple, by Matoma was the song she listened to the most last year.