Meet Your Barista: Tyler @ 4th St.
If you’ve been to one of our downtown stores, chances are you may have met Tyler, one of our stellar baristas!
With a view of Fourth Street Live, Tyler serves up drinks to his favorite regulars and plenty of out-of-town visitors. And when he’s not working at Heine Brothers’, he’s tutoring and mentoring at Kentucky Refugee Ministries.
Sarah nominated Tyler because he’s “always so fun to work with, and has such a great attitude. He’s perfect for a meet your barista feature!”
Which location do you work at?
I work downtown, primarily at our 4th Street location and occasionally at Main Street.
How long have you been working at HB?
I started in November 2015, so 8 months! It’s been a blast!
Are you a native Louisvillian or Transplant?
I’m originally from Lexington but moved to Louisville last June. I’m already starting to feel like a native!
What kind of work do you do with Kentucky Refugee Ministries?
KRM works to help families make a fresh start when they arrive in the U.S. They offer resettlement, English classes, job training, and many other sources in order to make the transition from refugee to resident as smooth as possible. I work as a tutor and mentor, along with another volunteer, for one family with children of many different ages. We help with schoolwork and try to provide some basic English instruction, but I see our primary goal as being positive role models and providing support. It’s SO MUCH FUN, and I hope to continue doing work like this in the future.
What drew you to work for Kentucky Refugee Ministries?
I took a class during my senior year at Centre College that explored social justice, poverty, homelessness, and other related topics. We had a project that involved visiting a nearby agency and preparing a report of their work, goals, and impact, to be presented to the class. My group visited the KRM office in Lexington and I was intrigued by the organization and the work it does. After moving to Louisville, I was looking for opportunities related to teaching, tutoring, and language instruction–and I remembered KRM. It’s been an incredible experience!
What part of working with the organization do you enjoy most?
I plan to become a teacher, so the work I do is directly aligned with that and has helped me in planning the start of my education career. The most significant part of my work, though, is seeing the impact I’m able to make in the lives of these kids. They’re always SO excited when we visit and have so much enthusiasm for learning and for living. It would be a challenge not to be inspired by that!
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve gotten, or that’s stuck with you the most?
One of the first phrases that comes to mind is something I learned as a camp counselor a few summers ago: Give of Yourself Always. Our director always worked that in with everything he told us and had made a small sign with the letters “GOYA” on it, which he left by the fireplace in the dining hall. I think that concept can be applied to any situation. Being personally invested in everything you do can boost your attitude, increase the quality of your work, and brighten the lives of others. It can be a simple thing to strive for every day, or an overarching theme to your life. For me, it’s a sort of mantra that helps me remain focused on what is important.
Your most fearless moment?
Since graduating from Centre last May, I’ve faced a number of challenges–moving out on my own for the first time, learning the lay of the land in a new city, and just figuring out how to be an adult. It all happened very abruptly and I have definitely pushed myself, but I think that has made me a better and more capable person today.
Top location on your travel bucket list?
I’ve heard Europe is wonderful, so that’s one (very broad) location, but I’d like to explore more of Central and South America. I spent a semester in Mexico and visited Cuba, so I’d like to keep pushing further south!
Favorite HB drink & why?
My go-to is just a cup of whatever we have brewing, usually black (Peru Jaén might be my favorite right now) but my favorite specialty drink is the Mayan Mocha. I’m not much of a fan of really sweet drinks, and the Mayan Mocha goes in a completely different direction. Also, I like the fact that the drink uses powders instead of syrups. I think it’s the most fun to make (and drink)!