Eastern Sierra College Center faculty and staff have been hosting monthly coffee breaks for students in order to increase awareness about college programs and support services, and to share a light snack and a little caffeine before the start of the evening’s classes. Ryan and Lauren Harris, new to ESCC’s Mammoth Lakes campus, recently offered to donate ‘their’ coffee to these events, which begged the question, “You have your own coffee?” The answer is “yes”.
The couple purchases and exports coffee beans from the Matagalpa region in Nicaragua, roasts and sells the beans in various locations in the Eastern Sierra, and donates a portion of their profits back to Matagalpa for economic development projects. Their business is Wahl-Ris Coffee, a combination of Lauren’s maiden name, Wahlstrom, and Ryan’s last name, Harris—the company logo actually conceived and created during one of Ryan’s Digital Media Arts courses at Cerro Coso! The impact of Wahl-Ris Coffee in Matagalpa has been tremendous. Profits from coffee sales have helped to provide 54 families with access to clean water and latrines, and future projects include completion of a well to supply clean water to the community during the dry months.
Everyone at ESCC is extremely proud of Ryan and Lauren Harris for their accomplishments both in and outside of the classroom, and hope that they continue to enjoy success in all of their future endeavors.