An Oklahoma Christian University alumna is spreading hope and changing lives through a cup of coffee.
After being contacted by Higher Grounds Coffee Shoppe in April, recent graduate Karly Monday began working as the company’s marketing and event coordinator.
Higher Grounds is a nonprofit coffee and bakery shop in Edmond, OK. The coffee shop partners in ministry with local churches across the state. All of their income goes directly to their mission partners in Peru and Haiti, and locally through Mission OKC.
Monday said working through Higher Grounds has allowed her to serve and help others.
“It’s a really good opportunity to do good,” Monday said. “I’ve worked a lot with nonprofits and I always love helping people and doing what I can to help the world.”
Not only does Higher Grounds donate their income to missions, they provide jobs to individuals with at-risk futures and offer skill training to get them back on their feet.
“Working in a community like this is awesome because you don’t get that a lot,” Monday said. “I’m working with people who really want to show the love of Christ and it’s just a really awesome environment with really awesome people.”
According to Monday, the coffee shop and bakery aims to know the faces and stories of each person who walks through their doors.
“One of our goals is to know the customer,” Monday said. “It’s a place where you truly know your neighbor, you know their name.”
Monday said when she was offered the job to work at Higher Grounds, Assistant Professor of Communication Joshua Watson helped her make the decision.
Watson said he encouraged Monday to take the job at Higher Grounds because it aligned with her skills and her values.
“Based on her faith and based on the kinds of jobs that I think OC loves for their students to be able to get, I was really trying to encourage her to apply for a job she was going to feel fulfilled doing and that was going to take advantage of the skills she had to offer,” Watson said.
Watson said during her time at Oklahoma Christian, Monday held internships with nonprofit organizations which prepared her for Higher Grounds.
“I think she was being prepared for [nonprofit work] and success for that,” Watson said. “But kind of like a lot of students in college, you don’t see where the endpoint is going to be even though you can tell you’re being prepared by God in providential ways, and I think that’s what was going on with her.”
Watson said Monday is flourishing throughout her time so far at Higher Grounds.
“They have some goals she needs to meet, and they give her more resources and support,” Watson said. “She’s been hitting all those goals and ultimately the coffee shop has been successful, and that’s the ultimate goal.”
According to Monday, Higher Grounds provides a relaxing environment for students to come study not only because they offer rooms to rent and a large space, but also because the people who work there will make students feel comfortable and welcome.
“It’s a cozy environment,” Monday said. “It’s very homey, we have fireplaces, but it’s just the people. They remember you. They know you.”
Along with studying, students can also volunteer with Higher Grounds for various community events.
“We always need volunteers to do things,” Monday said. “We have events where we just like to get people in the door. We just want people to experience what we get to experience every day.”
Higher Grounds offers trivia once a month for the community, as well as storytelling for children every Thursday and a variety of other events such as brush lettering courses. The shop can also be rented out for bridal and baby showers, birthday parties and other events.
For more information about resources Higher Grounds Coffee Company offers or how to get involved, visit their website or store at 5814 NW 63rd, Warr Acres, OK.