April 09, 2019

Volunteer Spotlight: TGR Learning Lab celebrates 13 years of Joy

Although there has been much growth since TGR Foundation opened the doors of the flagship TGR Learning Lab in 2006, the support of the community and volunteers has remained unwavering. Joy Heverly is an original volunteer and has served at the front desk longer than a decade. In honor of National Volunteer Week, we recognize her dedication and service to our programs and mission to empower youth through education.

Joy transitioned to Southern California from Fairport, New York and lives blocks away from the TGR Learning Lab.

​“Ms. Joy was one of our very first volunteers,” said Dr. Katherine Bihr, Vice President of Programs and Education. “She is part of our history and our family.”

Joy and her late husband, Earl, began volunteering together shortly after the Learning Lab opened. Joy donated a brick to support the programs in memory of her husband in 2008.

From offering a friendly greeting to everyone who walks through the lobby to assisting with administrative tasks, Joy takes pride in her role and responsibilities.

“I love everything that I do,” she said. “It’s my pleasure, and it’s a thrill.”

Never beginning the day without greeting her learning lab friends with a smile and a story, Joy brings a positive energy that is welcomed by the staff each time she serves.

“Joy’s smile and love of people are contagious,” said Gyla Bell, Senior Director of Programs. “She makes everyone feel special and valued.”

Attributing her commitment throughout the years to her relationships with staff and the impact of TGR Foundation programs, volunteering at the TGR Learning Lab remains a rewarding experience for Joy.

“It’s just a wonderful place to be,” she said. “A lot of volunteers get lost in the shuffle, and it’s a shame. When you think of the thousands of kids who have gone through that door… It is so wonderful.”


According to Dr. Bihr, TGR Foundation believes in community, and the support of volunteers is instrumental to its community involvement.

“Our volunteer program allows us to engage and empower the community while expanding our reach,” said Dr. Bihr. “TGR Foundation volunteers span a variety of backgrounds and interests.  What they have in common is a genuine interest in working with young people.”

For more information on volunteer opportunities call the TGR Learning Lab at 714.765.8040 or visit TGRFoundation.org.

Redefining what it means to be a champion.